Lake charr Salvelinus namaycush are typically fall spawners although one ecotype has populations that spawn during spring and fall (siscowets in Lake Superior). Lake charr are iteroparous (reproduce more than once in a lifetime) with group-synchronous ovarian development and typically spawn once per year. However, lake charr may not reproduce every year, a phenomenon known as skipped spawning. Free embryos are active on spawning reefs, make diurnal vertical movements from spawning substrate, and feed exogenously much earlier than previously assumed. The abundance of food and predators strongly affects the rate of development, yolk sac absorption, and duration of residence on spawning sites. The necessity for, and timing of, gas bladder inflation, and mechanisms for inflation without access to the surface, need further study. The low survival of free embryos due to thiamine deficiency has likely contributed to the lack of recruitment of lake charr in the Laurentian Great Lakes for decades. Thiaminase, a thiamine-degrading enzyme, appears to be the causal agent for thiamine deficiency in Great Lakes lake charr.
|Frederick W. Goetz, J. Ellen Marsden, Catherine A. Richter, Donald E. Tillitt, Shawn P. Sitar, Stephen Riley, Charles C. Krueger
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Columbia Environmental Research Center; Great Lakes Science Center