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Straying of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, from delayed and coastal releases in the Baltic Sea, with special focus on the Swedish west coast

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Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., reared from two Baltic strains were released around the islands Bornholm and Møn in the Baltic Sea between 1995 and 1999. A total 600 000 reared salmon were released from net pens using the delayed release technique, keeping the salmon in net pens for approximately 3 months after smolting, and 208 000 were released directly from the hatchery. Of these, 15 958 were tagged with Carlin tags. Additionally, 65 300 coded wire tagged salmon were released as delayed release salmon close to Bornholm in 2000. Recaptures from the five years of Carlin tagged releases varied between 2.8% and 21.2% (average 13.1%). Most recaptures were from within the Baltic Sea (average 98%), but some were recaptured outside the Baltic Sea, either in the sea (1%) or in fresh water (1%). Recaptures outside the Baltic Sea and in fresh water were higher for releases at Møn in the western part of the Baltic, than releases at Bornholm. Straying rates from the releases into six rivers on the Swedish west coast were estimated using information from capture in traps and sport and broodstock fisheries. The proportion of straying salmon in rivers on the Swedish west coast was about 3.8% of the salmon run, but with large variations between rivers. Releases were discontinued because of possible deleterious effect on the local wild salmon populations.

Keywords: Salmo salar; coastal release; delayed release; release technique; straying

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2400.2006.00520.x

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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