By Irma Kallio-Nyberg, Eero Jutila, Erkki Jokikokko, Irma Saloniemi
Fisheries Research, Volume 80, Issues 2-3, September 2006, Pages 295-304, ISSN 0165-7836, DOI: 10.1016/j.fishres.2006.03.026.

The marine survival of hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta) was examined in relation to marine conditions during post-smolt migration and in relation to stock traits. In 1970-2001, Carlin-tagged smolts were released in the Iijoki and Oulujoki rivers, the northern Baltic Sea. When both species were analysed together, the abundance of the three prey fish, herring (Clupea harengus), smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) and vendace (Coregonus albula) correlated positively with the survival of salmonids. In addition, the increase in smolt size appeared to improve the survival rate. Sea surface temperature (SST) may have affected indirectly through the abundance of prey fish during the post-smolt migration of salmon and sea trout. The smelt and vendace showed a statistical effect on survival only when the temperature effects were not included in the models. In sea trout, an increasing smolt length was not significantly correlated with the survival in good herring recruitment years, but in poor years survival increased very rapidly with increasing smolt size. The recapture rates of the salmonids tended to decrease between the years 1970 and 2001. During the same time period, the June SST slightly decreased. The positive correlation between the annual summer SST and recapture rate of salmon may partly explain the decreasing trend in recapture rates. An increase in smolt size did not compensate for the decline in the recapture rate of either species.
Keywords: Atlantic salmon; Sea trout; Prey fish abundance; Sea surface temperature; Survival

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