, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 305-311

Migration speeds and orientation of Atlantic salmon and sea trout post-smolts in a Norwegian fjord system

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Abstract

We recorded the observed and actual swimming speeds of Atlantic salmon and sea trout post-smolts in a Norwegian fjord system, and initiated studies on the orientation mechanisms of the post-smolts. We tracked Atlantic salmon and sea trout with acoustic transmitters for up to 14 h after release. The actual swimming speed and direction of a fish relative to the ground is the vector sum of the observed movements of the fish and the movements of the water. We determined actual swimming speeds and directions of the post-smolts, which reflect their real swimming capacities and orientation, by corrections for the speed and direction of the water current. The post-smolts were actively swimming. The observed direction of movement was dependent on the actual movement of the fish and not the water current. Water currents were not systematically used as an orientation cue either in Atlantic salmon or sea trout, as the actual movements were random compared to the direction of the water current. The actual movement of sea trout were in all compass directions, with no systematic pattern. The Atlantic salmon also moved in all compass directions, but with the lowest frequency of actual movement towards the fjord.