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Performance of farmed, hybrid, and wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) families in a natural river environment

Skaala, Øystein, Glover, Kevin A., Barlaup, Bjørn T., Svåsand, Terje, Besnier, Francois, Hansen, Michael M., Borgstrøm, Reidar
Canadian journal of fisheries and aquatic sciences 2012 v.69 no.12 pp. 1994-2006
Salmo salar, crossing, diet, eggs, farmed fish, farms, genetic markers, hybrids, parents, progeny, rivers, salmon, smolts, wild fish, Norway
Survival, growth, and diet were compared for farmed, hybrid, and wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) families from the eyed egg to the smolt stage in River Guddalselva, Hardangerfjord, Norway. All individuals that survived until the smolt stage were captured in a Wolf trap and identified to one of the 69 experimental families using microsatellite markers. Survival of farmed salmon progeny was significantly lower than that of hybrids and wild progeny. However, survival varied considerably, from 0.17% to 6.4%, among farmed families. Egg size had an important influence on survival. Half-sib hybrid families with a farmed mother had higher survival when fathered by wild salmon than by farmed salmon. The overall relative survival of farmed families compared with that of their hybrid half-sib families fell from 0.86 in the second cohort to 0.62 in the last cohort with increasing fish density. Smolts of farmed parents showed significantly higher growth rates than wild and hybrid smolts. The overlap in diet among types of crosses demonstrates competition, and farm and hybrid progeny therefore will reduce the river’s capacity for production of wild salmon.