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Effects of Renibacterium salmoninarum on olfactory organs of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) marked with coded wire tags

January 1, 2014

Bacterial kidney disease (BKD) caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum can cause significant morbidity and mortality in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), particularly in Chinook salmon of the stream (spring) life history type, which migrate to sea as yearlings rather than subyearlings. R. salmoninarum can be transmitted vertically from the female parent to the progeny in association with the egg, as well as horizontally from fish to fish. This study was conducted as part of a research project to investigate whether the prevalence and intensity of R. salmoninarum infections in adult spring Chinook salmon could affect the survival and pathogen prevalence and intensity in their progeny (Pascho et al., 1991, 1993; Elliott et al., 1995). Fish from two brood years (1988 and 1989) were reared at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (Idaho, USA) for about 1-1/2 years, released as yearling smolts, and allowed to migrate to the Pacific Ocean for maturation. The majority of progeny fish were marked with coded wire tags (CWTs) about 4 months before they were released from the hatchery so that adult returns could be monitored. The CWTs were implanted in the snouts of the fish by an experienced team of fish markers using automated wire-tagging machines. The intended placement site was the cartilage, skeletal muscle or loose connective tissue of the snout.

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