Seasonal effects of hydropeaking on growth, energetics and movement of juvenile atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionRivers Research and Applications: an international journal devoted to river research and management. 2015, 31 (9), 1101-1108. 10.1002/rra.2801
The performance and movements of juvenile Atlantic salmon Salmo salar exposed to variable water discharge (simulating hydropeaking) but with a stable water‐covered area were studied in six experimental stream channels, both during the winter and summer. Thirty fish were stocked into each channel, and the growth, body fat and movements of the fish were followed for about 2.5 months in each season. During the winter, no effect of hydropeaking was documented on performance or movement. In the summer, fish experiencing hydropeaking had lower body mass, lower body fat, and higher movement rates than the control fish. In general, effect sizes were small, and the rapid and frequent changes in water discharge and water level in the present study had small effects on the performance of juvenile Atlantic salmon. The cumulative long‐term effect at the population level is unknown, but a reduced growth rate of 10% and a reduction in body fat of 16% in the hydropeaking experiments in the summer might to some extent translate into increased smolt age and lower overwintering survival.