Recent interest in the restoration of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in the Great Lakes has given rise to new culture techniques and management programs designed to reduce pathogen transmission while stabilizing and enhancing wild populations. We examined the toxicity of iodine to Atlantic salmon eggs and its effectiveness as a disinfectant against bacteria on egg surfaces. We spawned and fertilized eight gravid Atlantic salmon from Cayuga Lake, New York, and exposed their eggs to 10 concentrations of iodine (5, 10, 50, 75, 100, 500, 750, 1,000, 5,000, and 7,500 mg/L) for 30 min during water hardening. An additional subsample of unfertilized eggs was also exposed to some of the same concentrations of iodine (5, 10, 50, 75, and 100 mg/L) to determine the efficiency of disinfection. Viable eggs were only obtained from four females. Survival of eggs to the eyed stage and hatch tended to be reduced at iodine concentrations of 50 and 75 mg/L and was significantly reduced at concentrations of 100 mg/L iodine or more. We calculated the concentrations of iodine that killed 50% of the Atlantic salmon eggs at eye-up and hatch to be 175 and 85 mg/L, respectively. Aeromonas veronii, A. schubertii, A. hydrophila, A. caviae, Plesiomonas shiggeloides, and Citrobacter spp. were the predominant bacteria present on the surface of green eggs and were significantly reduced by an iodine immersion. The use of iodine as a disinfectant on Atlantic salmon eggs was effective at low concentrations (50–75 mg/L), for which toxicity to Atlantic salmon was minimal.
Additional publication details
Efficacy and toxicity of iodine disinfection of Atlantic salmon eggs