Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The Effects of Tank Structure and Egg Size on the Production of Wild Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Surrogate Fish Public Deposited

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  • One of the biggest hurdles for a juvenile salmonid (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is migrating downstream from freshwater spawning grounds to the ocean. Juveniles from wild broodstock were reared from the South Santiam River for more than 1 year at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center (OHRC) in Alsea, OR. The fish were reared for 9 months on two treatments: conventional tanks and tanks with a scalable complex structure that was easy for hatchery staff to implement and clean. Both groups were reared at densities below conservation hatchery standards and fed low-lipid experimental diets. Assessment of fish quality included morphometric measurements, behavioral assessments, and growth rate analyses. Fin morphometrics showed the dorsal and caudal fins of fish reared in tanks with structure had less fin degradation than fish reared in conventional hatchery tanks. The two treatments also provided fish for behavioral assessments, including predator-avoidance and foraging behavior patterns. A separate third component tested fish growth rate related to the egg size of individual at spawning. It was shown that fish originating from smaller eggs (within a single female) grow at a faster rate than larger eggs. The goal of this project is to improve on current hatchery practices to produce a wild “surrogate” fish for tagging studies when a wild run is not large enough to provide experimental animals.
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