Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 5798
Title: Effects of hatchery and wild ancestry and rearing environments on the development of agonistic behavior in steelhead trout fry (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fry
Author: B. A. Berejikian, S. B. Mathews, T. P. Quinn
Publication Year: 1996
Journal: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Volume: 53
Issue: 9
Pages: 2004-2014

At emergence, fry from a wild steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) population displayed higher levels of one type of mirror-elicited agonistic behavior (swimming against a mirror) than did fry from a locally derived hatchery (domesticated) population.  Newly emerged wild fry also dominated hatchery fry in size-matched dyadic dominance challenges.  However, given an approximately 3.0-4.5% size advantage, hatchery fry dominated smaller wild competitors in 68% of encounters, indicating that small size differences at emergence can strongly influence dominance.  Hatchery fry reared in a natural stream channel for 105 days were more aggressive than those reared in hatchery tanks and than wild fry reared in either environment.  In otherwise identical hatchery tanks, low density and low food rations were associated with elevated agonistic behavior by hatchery fry, but not by wild fry.  This study suggests that four to seven generations of domestication has resulted in behavioral divergence of the hatchery population from its wild donor population.  The extent to which such differences determine the outcomes of interactions between offspring of wild and hatchery steelhead spawning in streams will depend on the size differences and emergence dates of the populations as well as genetic bases of aggression

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