Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8204
Title: Inhibition of salt water survival and Na+-K+-ATPase elevation in steelhead trout (Salmo gairdneri) by moderate water temperatures
Author: B. L. Adams, Waldo S. Zaugg, Lynn R. McLain
Publication Year: 1975
Journal: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume: 104
Issue: 4
Pages: 766-769

We evaluated the steelhead trout metamorphosis from a freshwater parr to a seawater–tolerant smolt possessing the migration tendency at six different growth temperatures ranging from 6 to 15°C during January through July.  The highest temperature where a transformation was indicated was 11.3°C.  By April, fish reared at 6°C had elevated ATPase levels typical of smolts or migratory animals and showed 92% survival in sea water.  Fish reared at 10 and 11.3°C showed a short–lived elevation in ATPase in mid–April alone concurrently with 100% sea water survival at that time.  Only in animals reared at 6°C did the salt water survivability continue into May.  High ATPase levels likewise were prolonged into May and June only in the group reared at 6°C.  The data indicated that metamorphosis (and therefore successful migration) of juvenile steelhead trout was directly controlled by water temperature. 


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