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Spawning characteristics of the anadromous brown trout in a small Swedish stream

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The spawning pattern of the anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta was studied in Själsöån, a small stream in Gotland, Sweden, during eight winters between 1992–1993 and 1999–2000. The total length (LT) at spawning was normally distributed (185–890 mm) for females and multimodal for males (300, 400 and 550 mm most frequent length classes). Spawning males were significantly younger (2+ to 4+ years) than females (3+ to 5+ years). The sex‐ratio at the beginning and at the end of the spawning season favoured males. The mean ± s.d. number of spawners was 70 ± 16 individuals per year. Migration into and out of the stream occurred between November and June. The highest number of spawning fish was found in the stream at the end of November or at the beginning of December. Migration mainly occurred during high water flow and at night. The majority of the females entered the stream and spawned the same (29·3% of all the females) or the next night (32·8% of all the females) while males may have stayed for 2 to 3 weeks (21·3% of all the males) in the stream before spawning. Males usually remained much longer in the stream (mean ± s.d. 45 ± 56 days) than females (16 ± 30 days). Females lost more mass in the stream (mean ± s.d. 17·3 ± 8·6%) than males (7·7 ± 9·6%). For both sexes, mass loss was positively correlated with the time spent in the stream. Only 7·3% of the males and 5·7% of the females occurred in the stream for >1 year. Spawning took place only during the night.
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Keywords: Salmo trutta; Sweden; anadromous brown trout; spawning behaviour

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, Department of Nature Management, CH-1254, Jussy-Geneva, Switzerland, 2: Gotlands Sportfiske- & Fiskevårdsförbund, Box 1269, 621 23 Visby, Sweden and 3: Fiskeriverket, Sötvattenslaboratoriet, S-170 11 Drottningholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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