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Monthly indices of the post-smolt growth of Atlantic salmon from the Drammen River, Norway

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Indices of the monthly post-smolt growth of three maturity groups of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar from the Drammen River in Norway were examined. Scale samples were collected from 1983 to 2003, providing a retrospective growth history for 2854 individuals. Overall post-smolt growth of all three maturity groups decreased throughout the study period. When the post-smolt year was segmented into 8 monthly indices, there was a significant decline in growth during the fourth and fifth month, typically months of maximum growth. The pre-fishery abundance of one and two sea-winter fish from Norway also showed a decline throughout the study period and was positively correlated to the post-smolt growth of fish returning to the Drammen River. Freshwater growth was negatively correlated to the pre-fishery abundance, thus indicating that factors affecting post-smolt growth during the fourth and fifth months at sea may be responsible for declining return numbers in Norway.

Keywords: Atlantic salmon; growth; post-smolt; survival

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: National Marine Fisheries Service, 28 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882 U.S.A. 2: Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Gaustadalleen 21, NO-0349 Oslo, Norway

Publication date: May 1, 2008


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