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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Dispersal of brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) fry in a low gradient stream - implications for egg stocking practices

Palm, Daniel; Losee, James; Andersson, Susanna; Hellstroem, Gustav; Holmgren, Annika; Spong, Goran

Abstract

Stocking of eggs is a common strategy to support declining or reintroduce extirpated salmonid populations. Data on how juveniles disperse from stocking points is crucial to be able to design efficient stocking programs. Detailed information of dispersal is limited for many salmonids, for example, brown trout. In this study, dispersal distance was measured at the end of the first growing season in a low gradient (0.7%) stream in Sweden where the trout population had been depleted. Eggs from 17 separate sets of parents were stocked as eyed eggs in March. During the following fall fry were sampled throughout the stream. The majority of the fry dispersed downstream and remained within a distance of 200 m from the stocking point with no difference between sizes of fry and the presence of a competing cohort or not. There was no dissimilarity in dispersal distances across offspring originating from different parents indicating absence of genetic influence. Our results suggest that, in streams similar to our study site, stocking points should be separated by approximately 330 m in order to avoid overlap in habitat use of fry from different stocking points and that the presence of competing cohorts, fry size and within population variability in dispersal can be neglected.

Keywords

brown trout; dispersal; egg stocking; fry; salmonid; SNP

Published in

River Research and Applications
2023, Volume: 39, number: 4, pages: 790-796
Publisher: WILEY