Migration of Atlantic Salmon, Salmo salar, Smolt through the Estuary Area of River Ellidaar in Iceland
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We tagged both wild and hatchery Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, smolts from River Ellidaar (64 ° 08′ N, 21 ° 50′ W) with ultrasonic tags. We caught the wild smolts in a smolt trap and selected the largest individuals from the run. We implanted the transmitters in the abdominal cavity of the fish and then released them in River Ellidaar close to the estuary. We used four ultrasonic receivers; one in the river’s estuary, one outside the estuary and two further away on both sides of an island in the estuary zone. The receivers recorded all transmitters within a 600 m radius. The hatchery smolts were larger than the wild smolts. Some of the smolts were lost on the way through the estuary. Only 4 out of 9 wild smolts and 14 of 17 hatchery smolts were recorded all the way through. The tags and the tagging likely affected the survival of the smolts especially the smaller fish. There were no differences in the smolt migration between the 2 years of study and no differences in the migration behavior between the wild and the hatchery smolts. After being released the smolts stayed on average for 10 h in the river then migrated into the estuary were they stayed for 54 h on average. Then they migrated straight through the area to the sea at approximately 0.2 fish lengths per second. We recorded large differences in the migration.
Keywordssmolt sea entry migration time ultra sonic transmitters tracking
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