Linking individual migratory behaviour of Atlantic salmon to their genetic origin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Many stocks of fish consist of mixtures of individuals originating from different populations. This is particularly true for many salmon and trout stocks, where fish of different genetic background are being found in the same
rivers and/or lakes due to stocking activities or straying caused by increased aquaculture activities. The interpretation of results from studies of survival and behaviour of fish from such “mixed stocks” require information of the genetic background of individual fish. We used genetic analysis combined with radiotelemetry to study upstream migration of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in a Danish lowland river. The river has a small population of native salmon, but salmon juveniles from Irish, Scottish and Swedish populations have been stocked and return as adults. A total of 39 salmon were caught by electrofishing and tagged by surgical implantation. A tissue sample (fin clip) from each tagged salmon was analysed using microsatellite DNA analysis of 6 loci. Assignment tests were used to infer the population of origin. The results showed that the salmon run was composed of approximately 1/3 “native fish”, 1/3 foreign stocked fish and 1/3 escaped farmed salmon. The results indicate that
stocked, foreign salmon had a slightly higher mortality and moved more up and down in the river than the native salmon did, but all salmon had problems passing the physical obstructions in the river. The DNA analyses enabled
us to compare the behaviour of fish of different genetic origin, but the interpretation of the results was hampered by a high mortality of tagged fish. This study demonstrates that the combination of recent genetic methods and
telemetry provides a potent tool for better management of mixed stock fisheries
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAquatic telemetry: advances and applications : Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Fish Telemetry held in Europe
EditorsM.T. Spedicato, G. Lembo, G. Marmulla
PublisherFood and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event5th Conference on Fish Telemetry - Ustica, Italy
Duration: 9 Jun 200313 Jun 2003
Conference number: 5


Conference5th Conference on Fish Telemetry


Dive into the research topics of 'Linking individual migratory behaviour of Atlantic salmon to their genetic origin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this