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Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 241–251 | Cite as

The effects of experimental energy depletion on the physiological condition and survival of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) during spawning migration

  • Patrick S. Nadeau
  • Scott G. HinchEmail author
  • Kimberly A. Hruska
  • Lucas B. Pon
  • David A. Patterson
Article

Abstract

In 2005 and 2006, adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) were captured en route to spawning grounds and placed in either a slow (∼ 0.1 m·s−1) or fast (∼0.4 m·s−1) water velocity treatment for 18 days in order to assess how migrational energy depletion during the final stages of maturation affected physiological condition and survival. Fish in the fast treatment utilized more energy than the slow treatment in 2005 (0.91 MJ kg−1 vs. 0.43 MJ kg−1; P = 0.010), and 2006 (0.72 MJ kg−1 vs. 0.37 MJ kg−1; P = 0.021). Non-treatment fish captured upon arrival at spawning grounds showed energy levels intermediate to the two treatments in 2005 and lower than both in 2006, suggesting that energy use during the treatments were within levels normally experienced by this population. No differences in survival were found between treatments (P > 0.05), although females had lower survival than males in both years (both P < 0.01). After 18 days, surviving fish from the fast treatment showed signs of elevated physiological stress relative to fish from the slow treatment. Specifically, plasma osmolality was lower in fast fish in 2005 (P < 0.001), as was plasma chloride in both years (both P < 0.02). In 2006, plasma lactate was higher (P = 0.014) in fast fish. Within the ranges of energetic depletion that were examined here, a more energy-intensive migration can have a substantial influence on the physiological condition and stress of adult sockeye salmon, but not on survival.

Keywords

Pacific salmon Physiological stress Energy Upstream migration Survival 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to extend thanks to A. Lotto for field and lab assistance, J. Hills, J. Garries, K. Dales, and M. Shrimpton, for conducting the physiological assays, and to S. Latham and M. Reichardt for stock identification work. Thanks are also extended to the Chehalis First Nation Band for their assistance with fish capture. Funding for this study was provided by a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) postgraduate scholarship to P. Nadeau, an NSERC Discovery grant to S. Hinch, and an NSERC Strategic grant to S. Hinch, A. Farrell, M. Healey, and G. Van Der Kraak. Logistic and financial support was also provided by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Fraser River Environment Watch Program.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick S. Nadeau
    • 1
  • Scott G. Hinch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kimberly A. Hruska
    • 1
  • Lucas B. Pon
    • 1
  • David A. Patterson
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Applied Conservation Research, Department of Forest SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Science Branch, Pacific Region, Cooperative Resource Management Institute, School of Resource and Environmental ManagementSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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