Experience and social environment influence the ability of young brown trout to forag
By L. F. Sundstrom, J. I. Johnsson
Animal Behaviour, Volume 61, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 249-255, ISSN 0003-3472, DOI: 10.1006/anbe.2000.1593.
Efficient feeding is crucial for the growth, survival and reproductive success of most animals. In artificial-rearing environments, however, animals are deprived of many stimuli normally experienced in the wild, which may alter feeding behaviour, and thus influence their survival and reproductive success upon release in nature. In a laboratory experiment, we investigated the effect of hatchery rearing on the ability of brown trout, Salmo trutta, to capture and consume a novel live prey item. Hatchery-reared and wild-caught trout, originating from the same river, were fed single black crickets, either in isolation or in visual and olfactory contact with another hatchery-reared or wild-caught fish. Total consumption, time to first bite and feeding efficiency were monitored. Wild-caught trout ate more, were quicker to attack, and consumed attacked prey more efficiently than hatchery-reared fish. Food consumption and efficiency increased in both wild and hatchery-reared trout during the experiment. We propose that the differences in feeding ability between wild-caught and hatchery-reared brown trout were mainly due to differences in previous experience of feeding on live prey. Wild-caught trout tended to eat more and sooner when in visual contact with another fish