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Comparison of maturation timing, egg size and fecundity between hatchery lines of chinook salmon and their wild donor stocks

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Increasing concern has been expressed about the genetic effects of cultured salmonid fishes on natural populations. Avoidance of extreme negative outcomes was one reason for the establishment of a genetic management policy for the State of Alaska. However, domestication within the hatchery may still cause divergence from the wild donor population. This divergence could potentially lead to adverse impacts on wild stocks through straying and introgression. This study examines potential domestication in two Alaskan chinook salmon stocks. The Little Port Walter (LPW) Hatchery Chickamin River stock resulted from a small collection of wild broodstock in 1976. The LPW Unuk stock was founded with a larger number of individuals in 1976 and has had subsequent infusion of wild gametes. These lines have been maintained at LPW through ocean ranching of tagged smolts. Comparisons are made between the hatchery lines, progeny of wild chinook collected from the Chickamin and Unuk Rivers, and hybrids between the hatchery and wild groups. Mature ocean‐ranched female chinook salmon returning to the facility were periodically graded for ripeness and spawned. Body size and meristic measurements were collected from these mature spawners. Maturation timing, fecundity, and individual egg size of these fourth generation hatchery fish are compared with that of offspring of wild fish from the same donor stock. Stock of origin is confirmed for all spawners and offspring using microsatellite DNA analysis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Auke Bay Laboratory, 11305 Glacier Highway Juneau, Alaska 99801, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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