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Factors influencing the relative fitness of hatchery and wild spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Wenatchee River, Washington, USA

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Understanding the relative fitness of naturally spawning hatchery fish compared with wild fish has become an important issue in the management and conservation of salmonids. We used a DNA-based parentage analysis to measure the relative reproductive success of hatchery- and natural-origin spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the natural environment. Size and age had a large influence on male fitness, with larger and older males producing more offspring than smaller or younger individuals. Size had a significant effect on female fitness, but the effect was smaller than on male fitness. For both sexes, run time had a smaller but still significant effect on fitness, with earlier returning fish favored. Spawning location within the river had a significant effect on fitness for both sexes. Hatchery-origin fish produced about half the juvenile progeny per parent when spawning naturally than did natural-origin fish. Hatchery fish tended to be younger and return to lower areas of the watershed than wild fish, which explained some of their lower fitness.

Pour la gestion et la conservation des salmonidés, il est devenu important de comprendre la fitness relative des poissons d'élevage qui frayent naturellement par rapport à celle des poissons sauvages. Nous avons utilisé une analyse de filiation basée sur l'ADN pour mesurer le succès reproductif relatif de saumons chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) du printemps provenant d'élevages ou d'origine naturelle dans le milieu naturel. La taille et l'âge ont une forte influence sur la fitness des mâles, car les mâles plus grands et plus âgés produisent plus de descendants que les individus plus petits ou plus jeunes. La taille a un effet significatif sur la fitness des femelles, mais cet effet est moins important que sur la fitness des mâles. Chez les deux sexes, le moment de la montaison a un effet petit mais néanmoins significatif sur la fitness et les poissons qui reviennent tôt sont favorisés. Le site de fraie dans la rivière a un effet significatif sur la fitness des deux sexes. Lorsqu'ils frayent naturellement, les poissons d'élevage produisent environ la moitié de la descendance par parent que ne le font les poissons d'origine naturelle. Par comparaison aux poissons sauvages, les poissons d'élevage ont tendance à être plus jeunes et ils retournent à des sites plus en aval dans le bassin versant, ce qui explique en partie leur fitness réduite.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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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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