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A new method to evaluate egg‐to‐fry survival in salmonids, trials with Atlantic salmon

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A new method to estimate the survival of salmonids from egg fertilization to fry emergence is described. Fine mesh screen cylindrical capsules, 12 cm3 in volume, filled with batches of 10 eggs of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar were implanted in the substratum using small removable guiding tubes inserted with a metal spike. The method was compared with two other commonly used techniques, capping redds with fry‐traps and fine mesh screen incubation‐emergence boxes buried into the gravel. Egg‐to‐fry survival was recorded for the three methods run in parallel in artificial redds created on three sites of the Nivelle River watershed (south‐west of France), two in the stream and one in an experimental spawning channel. In the channel, survival to the eyed stage and to hatching in capsules and incubation‐emergence boxes was also compared. The implant of capsules proved easier and faster to use than other methods, the structure of the surrounding substratum was less disturbed and the capsules were less vulnerable to spates. This technique provided survival values largely free of the bias induced by other methods and intermediate between that of incubators and of traps.

Keywords: early life stages; method; salmonids; spawning; survival

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-1112.2006.00907.x

Affiliations: 1: INRA, Station d’Hydrobiologie, UMR ECOBIOP, Quartier Ibarron – 64 310 Saint Pée sur Nivelle, France and 2: Conseil Supérieur de la Pêche, Building des Pyrénées 2D, 64 000 Pau, France

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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