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Goosander predation and its potential impact on Atlantic salmon smolts in the River Tana estuary, northern Norway

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In the summers of 1981 and 2000, 288 goosanders Mergus merganser were sampled in the estuary of the River Tana in northern Norway, which has the largest wild Atlantic salmon Salmo salar stock in the world. Based on 2308 otoliths found in their stomach contents, sandeels Ammodytes sp. were found to be the dominant prey, and only one pair of Atlantic salmon otoliths was found. This suggested that goosanders were not significant predators on Atlantic salmon smolts in the estuary, probably because of the high abundance of sandeels and other marine prey fishes, at least in these particular years.

Keywords: Tana River estuary; goosander; predation; salmon smolts; sandeel

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: The Directorate of Fisheries, Troms Region, P. O. Box 940, NO-9259 Tromsø, Norway, 2: Zoology Department, Tromsø University Museum, NO-9037 Tromso, Norway, 3: Norwegian University of Life Science, Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, P. O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway and 4: Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tromsø, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway 5: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Department of Arctic Ecology, Polar Environmental Center, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway,

Publication date: April 1, 2005


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