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Patterns and correlates of movement and site fidelity in individually tagged young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

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The literature on stream fish movement offers diverse views on the patterns (restricted vs. nonrestricted), causes (competition vs. habitat use), and consequences (mobile fish of lower vs. equal fitness) of movement. We tagged 320 young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) (30.1–55.3 mm), using relatively noninvasive tagging (elastomers) and recovery (snorkeling) techniques, to test these alternative views. Most fish (mean = 63.8%) stayed in the study sites (10–120 m) throughout their respective study season (28–74 days). Of the resighted fish, 61.8% moved less than 1 m up- or down-stream and only three fish moved more than 10 m, causing extremely leptokurtic movement curves. Movement and site fidelity were weakly affected by habitat use and competition. Fish originally found in slow water moved farther than fish from fast water, whereas fish found at high population densities were more likely to disappear than fish from low densities. Finally, mobile fish grew as fast or faster than more sedentary fish, supporting the idea that movement can be advantageous and is not just a by-product of density-dependent population regulation.

La littérature scientifique sur les déplacements des poissons en eau courante fournit des perspectives diverses sur les structures (confinement vs. ouverture), les causes (compétition vs. utilisation de l'habitat) et les conséquences (poissons mobiles de fitness inférieur vs. fitness égal) des déplacements. Nous avons marqué 320 saumons de l'Atlantique (Salmo salar) de l'année et utilisé des techniques relativement inoffensives de marquage (élastomères) et de recapture (plongée en apnée) pour évaluer ces différentes perspectives. La plupart des poissons (moyenne = 63,8 %) sont demeurés aux sites d'étude (10–120 m) durant la durée de leur étude respective (28–74 jours). Parmi les poissons retracés, 61,8 % s'étaient déplacés de moins de 1 m vers l'amont ou vers l'aval et seulement trois poissons avaient parcouru plus de 10 m, ce qui a produit des courbes de déplacement à leptocurtose extrême. L'utilisation de l'habitat et la compétition affectent peu les déplacements et la fidélité au site. Les poissons trouvés au départ en eau lente se déplacent plus loin que les poissons provenant d'eau rapide; de même, les poissons originaires de sites à forte densité de population sont plus susceptibles de disparaître que les poissons de sites à faible densité. Enfin, les poissons mobiles croissent aussi rapidement, sinon plus rapidement, que les poissons sédentaires, ce qui laisse croire que les déplacement peuvent apporter des avantages et qu'ils ne sont pas seulement les résultats indirects d'un contrôle de la population relié à la densité.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-02-01

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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