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Use of otolith chemistry to discriminate juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) from different wild populations and hatcheries in Lake Huron

Marklevitz, Stephen A.C., Fryer, Brian J., Gonder, David, Yang, Zhaoping, Johnson, James, Moerke, Ashley, Morbey, Yolanda E.
Journal of Great Lakes research 2011 v.37 no.4 pp. 698-706
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, adults, barium, chemistry, discriminant analysis, fish, hatcheries, iron, juveniles, lead, magnesium, manganese, mass spectrometry, otoliths, population, potassium, rearing, rubidium, streams, strontium, zinc, Lake Huron
Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in Lake Huron consist of wild and hatchery-reared fish distributed among several populations. This study tested whether otolith chemistry can be used to identify the natal origin of Chinook salmon in this system. Concentrations of nine elements (Mg, K, Mn, Fe, Zn, Rb, Sr, Ba, and Pb) in the otoliths of Chinook salmon juveniles from 24 collection sites (17 streams and 7 hatcheries) around Lake Huron were analyzed using laser-ablation inductively-coupled mass spectrometry. Differences in otolith chemistry were found between rearing environments (wild and hatchery), among geological regions (Precambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous), and among collection sites. Discriminant function analysis showed high classification accuracies of juveniles to their rearing environment (wild versus hatchery, 82%), geological region (84%), and collection site (87%) of origin. With these values, there is excellent potential for otolith chemistry to be used to predict the natal origin of adults, and thus inform research and management of Chinook salmon in Lake Huron.