Differences in egg quantity and quality among hatchery- and wild-origin Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Each year, millions of hatchery-raised juvenile salmon are released into the wild to help bolster salmon populations all over North America. These fish often differ from their wild-origin conspecifics in terms of survival and reproductive success after release, but our understanding of their reproductive investment is limited. We examined differences in egg number (gonad mass and fecundity) and quality (mass, lipids, fatty acids) between spawning hatchery- and wild-origin Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) from Lake Ontario. Hatchery-origin females were found to not differ significantly in body size, age, egg total lipids, and fatty acid content of eggs relative to wild-origin females, but hatchery-origin females allocated significantly less body mass and neutral lipids into egg and gonadal development compared with wild-origin females. We also examined diets of both groups of females using stable isotopes and found that carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes suggested limited differences in the diet between hatchery- and wild-origin adult females. The results from the present study provide evidence that the differing environmental conditions and associated selection pressures of captive environments during early life in hatchery settings can alter certain life-history traits later in adult development, namely gonad mass and egg size, and could contribute to differences in their performance in the wild.
Haring, Michaela W.; Johnston, Tom A.; Wiegand, Murray D.; Fisk, Aaron T.; and Pitcher, Trevor E., "Differences in egg quantity and quality among hatchery- and wild-origin Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)" (2015). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 73, 5, 737-746.