Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 163–179

Seasonal and Diel Changes in Behaviour, Microhabitat use and Preferences by Young Pool-dwelling Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar, and Brown Trout, Salmo trutta


  • Gunnbjørn Bremset
    • Department of ZoologyNorwegian University of Science and Technology

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007691316864

Cite this article as:
Bremset, G. Environmental Biology of Fishes (2000) 59: 163. doi:10.1023/A:1007691316864


There was a pronounced decline in activity of young pool-dwelling Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, and brown trout, Salmo trutta, as the water temperatures dropped in the autumn and early winter, and the fish switched from a predominantly diurnal towards a nocturnal activity pattern. Such a switch in activity pattern has previously been observed in young brown trout, but the present study is the first documentation for juvenile Atlantic salmon under natural conditions. Juvenile fish fed actively even when water temperatures were below 0°C, although foraging behaviour at near-freezing temperatures was recorded exclusively during night surveys. This indicates that other proximate factors, in addition to water temperature, affect the activity of young salmon and trout in rivers. Trout kept feeding positions significantly higher above bottom than salmon in August and September, but both species reduced the height above bottom at the onset of winter, possibly due to reduced swimming performance and lowered food availability in the upper part of the water column.

deep poolsyoung salmonidshabitat usehabitat availabilitytemporal variationtemperaturewinter

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000