The effects of stocking hatchery trout into wild populations were studied in a Danish river, using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers. Baseline samples were taken from hatchery trout and wild trout assumed to be unaffected by previous stocking. Also, samples were taken from resident and sea trout from a stocked section of the river. Genetic differentiation between the hatchery strain and the local wild population was modest (microsatellite F-ST = 0.06). Using assignment tests, more than 90% of individuals from the baseline samples were classified correctly. Assignment tests involving samples from the stocked river section suggested that the contribution by hatchery trout was low among sea trout (<7%), but high (46%) among resident trout. Hybrid index analysis and a high percentage of mtDNA haplotypes specific to indigenous trout observed among resident trout that were assigned to the hatchery strain suggested that interbreeding took place between hatchery and wild trout. The latter result also indicated that male hatchery trout contributed more to interbreeding than females. We suggest that stronger selection acts against stocked hatchery trout that become anadromous compared to hatchery trout that become resident. As most resident trout are males this could also explain why gene flow from hatchery to wild trout appeared to be male biased. The results show that even despite modest differentiation at neutral loci domesticated trout may still perform worse than local populations and it is important to be aware of differential survival and reproductive success both between life-history types and between sexes.
|Publication status||Published - 2000|