Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 229–235

A test of the hypothesis of pheromone attraction in salmonid migration

  • Geoff A. Black
  • J. Brian Dempson

DOI: 10.1007/BF00002996

Cite this article as:
Black, G.A. & Dempson, J.B. Environ Biol Fish (1986) 15: 229. doi:10.1007/BF00002996


We tested the hypothesis that anadromous salmonids are guided on their homeward migration by population-specific pheromones. Our findings do not support the hypothesis. Wild migrant Arctic charr,Salvelinus alpinus, from Ikarut River, Labrador were transferred and held in a tributary previously uninhabited by anadromous fish. None of the charr migrating up Ikarut River entered the tributary after fish were transferred. Similarly, migrant charr, which were caught in Ikarut River and released in the tributary below the captive fish, did not remain in the tributary. We re-evaluated the data which have been used to uphold the concept of pheromone attraction in salmonid migration and concluded that support for the hypothesis is unsubstantiated.


Homing Nordeng Salvelinus alpinus 

Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoff A. Black
    • 1
  • J. Brian Dempson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and OceansFisheries Research BranchSt. John'sCanada

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