Assessment of High Rates of Precocious Male Maturation in a Spring Chinook Salmon Supplementation Hatchery Program, Annual Report 2002-2003.

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The Yakima River Spring Chinook Salmon Supplementation Project in Washington State is currently one of the most ambitious efforts to enhance a natural salmon population in the United States. Over the past five years we have conducted research to characterize the developmental physiology of naturally- and hatchery-reared wild progeny spring chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Yakima River basin. Fish were sampled at the main hatchery in Cle Elum, at remote acclimation sites and, during smolt migration, at downstream dams. Throughout these studies the maturational state of all fish was characterized using combinations of visual and histological analysis of testes, ... continued below

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41 pages

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Larsen, Donald; Beckman, Brian & Cooper, Kathleen August 1, 2003.

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Description

The Yakima River Spring Chinook Salmon Supplementation Project in Washington State is currently one of the most ambitious efforts to enhance a natural salmon population in the United States. Over the past five years we have conducted research to characterize the developmental physiology of naturally- and hatchery-reared wild progeny spring chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Yakima River basin. Fish were sampled at the main hatchery in Cle Elum, at remote acclimation sites and, during smolt migration, at downstream dams. Throughout these studies the maturational state of all fish was characterized using combinations of visual and histological analysis of testes, gonadosomatic index (GSI), and measurement of plasma 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT). We established that a plasma 11-KT threshold of 0.8 ng/ml could be used to designate male fish as either immature or precociously maturing approximately 8 months prior to final maturation (1-2 months prior to release as 'smolts'). Our analyses revealed that 37-49% of the hatchery-reared males from this program undergo precocious maturation at 2 years of age and a proportion of these fish appear to residualize in the upper Yakima River basin throughout the summer. An unnaturally high incidence of precocious male maturation may result in loss of potential returning anadromous adults, skewing of female: male sex ratios, ecological, and genetic impacts on wild populations and other native species. Precocious male maturation is significantly influenced by growth rate at specific times of year and future studies will be conducted to alter maturation rates through seasonal growth rate manipulations.

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41 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/BP-00009556-1
  • Grant Number: 9556
  • DOI: 10.2172/962968 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 962968
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc934760

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 8 p.m.

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Larsen, Donald; Beckman, Brian & Cooper, Kathleen. Assessment of High Rates of Precocious Male Maturation in a Spring Chinook Salmon Supplementation Hatchery Program, Annual Report 2002-2003., report, August 1, 2003; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc934760/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.