We previously demonstrated that there were significant differences in the egg thiamine content in lake trout Salvelinus namaycush fed two Lake Michigan prey fish (alewife Alosa pseudoharengus and bloater Coregonus hoyi). Lake trout fed alewives produced eggs low in thiamine, but it was unknown whether the consumption of alewives affected other nutritionally important components. In this study we investigated the fatty acid composition of lake trout eggs when females were fed diets that resulted in different egg thiamine concentrations. For 2 years, adult lake trout were fed diets consisting of four combinations of captured alewives and bloaters (100% alewives; 65% alewives, 35% bloaters; 35% alewives, 65% bloaters; and 100% bloaters). The alewife fatty acid profile had higher concentrations of arachidonic acid and total omega-6 fatty acids than the bloater profile. The concentrations of four fatty acids (cis-13, 16-docosadienoic, eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acids) were higher in bloaters than in alewives. Although six fatty acid components were higher in lake trout eggs in 2001 than in 2000 and eight fatty acids were lower, diet had no effect on any fatty acid concentration measured in lake trout eggs in this study. Based on these results, it appears that egg fatty acid concentrations differ between years but that the egg fatty acid profile does not reflect the alewife-bloater mix in the diet of adults. The essential fatty acid content of lake trout eggs from females fed alewives and bloaters appears to be physiologically regulated and adequate to meet the requirements of developing embryos.
Additional publication details
Egg fatty acid composition from lake trout fed two Lake Michigan prey fish species.