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Stocking hatchery‐reared brown trout in different densities into a wild population – a comparison of growth and movement

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In spring 2001 and 2002 a small stream was stocked with tagged hatchery‐reared yearling brown trout (Salmo trutta), in order to study their influence on the resident brown trout population. The stream was separated into six sections: two sections without stocking, two sections where stocking doubled the trout population and two sections where the fish population was quadrupled. The working hypothesis was that due to food limitation (competition) growth of the wild fish will be negatively influenced by stocking, and wild fish will be displaced by the (possibly more aggressive) hatchery fish. Surprisingly, growth rate of wild and stocked fish of the same age was similar and independent of stocking density. Two main reasons may be responsible for this finding: only a low percentage of the stocked fish remained in the stream, and food was not limited during summer. Only 12–19% of the stocked fish were recaptured after six months, in contrats to 40–70% of one‐year old and up to 100% of older wild trout. The wild fish were not displaced by hatchery‐reared fish: During summer the wild fish remained more or less stationary, whereas most of the stocked trout had left their release site. The results indicate that in a natural stream stocking of hatchery reared brown trout does not influence negatively growth and movement of the wild fish independent of stocking density.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Fisheries Research Station of Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Untere Seestra├če 81, 88085 Langenargen, Germany

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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