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Migratory behavior of Chinook salmon microjacks reared in artificial and natural environments

November 12, 2014

Emigration was evaluated for hatchery Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) microjacks (age-1 mature males) and immature parr (age-1 juveniles, both sexes) released from both a hatchery and a natural stream (fish released as fry). In the hatchery, volitional releases (∼14 to 15 months post-fertilization) to an adjacent river occurred during October–November. The hatchery release was monitored by using an experimental volitional release that diverted fish to a neighboring raceway. Fish captured during the experimental release (range 361–4,321 volitional migrants) were made up of microjacks and immature parr. Microjacks were found only in the migrant samples, averaged 18% (range 0–52%) of all migrants, and were rarely found in non-migrant samples. In comparison, immature parr were common in both the migrant and non-migrant samples. Microjacks were significantly longer (9%), heavier (36%), and had a greater condition factor (16%) than migrant immature parr (P<0.01). In addition, they differed significantly (P<0.01) from non-migrant immature parr; 10% longer, 44% heavier and 14% greater condition factor. In natural streams, microjacks were captured significantly earlier (P<0.01) than immature parr during the late-summer/fall migration and comprised 9–89% of all fish captured. Microjacks have the potential to contribute to natural spawning populations but can also represent a loss of productivity to hatchery programs or create negative effects by introducing non-native genes to wild populations and should be monitored by fishery managers.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Migratory behavior of Chinook salmon microjacks reared in artificial and natural environments
DOI 10.3996/022014-JFWM-013
Authors Michael C. Hayes, Steve P. Rubin, Reginald R. Reisenbichler, Lisa A. Wetzel
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
Index ID 70129703
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center