, 371:347 | Cite as

Survival of radiotagged Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) – and trout (Salmo trutta L.) smolts passing a reservoir during seaward migration

  • Niels Jepsen
  • Kim Aarestrup
  • Finn Økland
  • Gorm Rasmussen


High mortality-rates of seaward migrating salmonid smolts when passing reservoirs and lakes have earlier been found in the Danish River Gudenå watershed. To reveal the causes of mortality of migrating smolts in Lake Tange, a 12 km long, shallow reservoir, 50 salmon smolts and 24 trout smolts were tagged with internal miniature radio-transmitters, and released in the river just upstream the reservoir on May 1, 1996. The salmon smolts were hatchery-reared, while the trout smolts were wild fish, caught in a smolt trap. The tagged smolts were tracked daily for 3 weeks, and when possible the cause of death was determined. During the 3-week period, 90% of the tagged smolts died. The main cause of death for both trout and salmon was predation from fish and birds. The most important predator was pike (Esox lucius L.), being responsible for 56% of the observed mortality. Avian predators were assumed to be responsible for 31% of the observed mortality. No trout smolts left the reservoir, but 5 salmon-smolts got out through the turbines. Others did traverse the reservoir, but were unable to enter the river downstream, and were later eaten. The present results suggest that mortalities for migrating smolts through Lake Tange are of such a magnitude, that stocking of juveniles in the river upstream is futile, and further, that the establishment of a natural population of salmon or sea-trout in river Gudenå, upstream Tange, is unrealistic under present conditions.

smolt Salmo salar Salmo trutta radio-telemetry predation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Jepsen
  • Kim Aarestrup
  • Finn Økland
  • Gorm Rasmussen

There are no affiliations available

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