Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research

First Advisor

Heath, Daniel D.(Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research)


Biology, Oceanography.




Captive breeding is essential for salmon aquaculture and stock enhancement programs, but may lead to genetic bottlenecks, inbreeding, and domestication selection. To evaluate the potential for incorporating mate choice into commercial and conservation salmon breeding programs, I measured the effects of mate choice on offspring phenotype. Semi-natural spawning channels were used to compare mate-choice and randomly mated (hatchery) fish for performance and morphological traits. Channel-spawned fish were out-performed by their hatchery counterparts in survival and body size; genetic and environmental effects contributed to these differences. However, channel-spawned fish had significantly more additive genetic variance for performance traits. Gene transcription of hatchery-bred and channel-spawned fish were compared using microarray analysis after a temperature stress. Few genes showed differential expression; however, overall transcriptional variance was lower in the channel-spawned fish. Mate choice should be included in rearing programs to increase the viability and adaptive potential of captive fish.