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Interhabitat and instream movements of large Atlantic salmon parr in a Newfoundland watershed in winter

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Radio‐telemetry was used to investigate movement of large, mainly mature male (80%) Atlantic salmon Salmo salar parr in Stoney River, Newfoundland during early winter (November; water temperature 6·0 ± 0·1° C) and mid‐winter (January to February; 0·8 ± 0·0° C). Site fidelity of parr in early winter was low. Parr moved between fluvial and lacustrine habitats and were active throughout the diel cycle. Parr caught in fluvial habitats in mid‐winter were smaller and younger than parr caught in early winter. Site fidelity of parr in mid‐winter was greater than in early winter. Parr in mid‐winter moved between fluvial and adjacent small lacustrine habitats, but avoided a larger pond inhabited by large piscivorous fishes. Instream movement rates in mid‐winter were lower than in early winter and occurred primarily during hours of darkness (dawn, dusk and night). Fluvial habitats were relatively stable and ice‐free throughout the study periods. These results suggested that large Atlantic salmon parr utilize a variety of habitats and remain active throughout the winter, even under stable environmental conditions.

Keywords: Atlantic salmon; Salmo salar; habitat; movement; parr; winter

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology Programme, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C 5S7 Canada, 2: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Box 5667, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C 5X1 Canada and 3: Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1C 5S7 Canada

Publication date: November 1, 2003


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