Investigating the behaviour of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) post-smolts during their early marine migration through the Clyde Marine Region

Lilly, J., Honkanen, H. M., Bailey, D. M. , Bean, C. W. , Forrester, R., Rodger, J. and Adams, C. E. (2022) Investigating the behaviour of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) post-smolts during their early marine migration through the Clyde Marine Region. Journal of Fish Biology, 101(5), pp. 1285-1300. (doi: 10.1111/jfb.15200) (PMID:36053776)

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It is thought that survival during migration is particularly poor for Atlantic salmon post-smolts immediately following entry to sea and particularly in the estuarine environment. However, there is currently a lack of information on Atlantic salmon post-smolt movement behaviour in estuaries in the UK. This study used acoustic tagging to estimate loss rates and compare the behaviour of Atlantic salmon post-smolts migrating from two distinctly different rivers draining into the Clyde Estuary, the River Endrick (n = 145) and the Gryffe (n = 102). Contrary to most literature, post-smolts undertook rapid migrations through the estuary, potentially decreasing their exposure to predators/anthropogenic stressors and reducing their estimated loss rates (river: 1-3%/km; estuary: 0.20 – The low loss rates in the estuary occurred despite post-smolts engaging in passive reversal movements with the tide upon entering the estuary, possibly allowing them more time to adapt to the increased salinity. Atlantic salmon post-smolts from both the rivers used similar migration pathways exiting into the coastal marine zone during ebbing tide. This study provides novel information on the timing and migratory routes of Atlantic salmon post-smolts in the Clyde Estuary that can ultimately be used to inform management decisions on how to assess and reduce the potential impacts of current natural and anthropogenic stressors. Temporal repeatability of this study over multiple years is required to determine if there is variation in the factors driving the migratory patterns and loss rates of smolts in this system.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was part of the SeaMonitor project funded by the European Union INTERREG VA Programme award number IVA5060; additional funding was provided by NatureScot and the Atlantic Salmon Trust.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Forrester, Mr Ruaidhri and Lilly, Jessie Marie and Rodger, Dr Jessica and Adams, Professor Colin and Bean, Professor Colin and Bailey, Dr David and Honkanen, Dr Hannele
Authors: Lilly, J., Honkanen, H. M., Bailey, D. M., Bean, C. W., Forrester, R., Rodger, J., and Adams, C. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Fish Biology
ISSN (Online):1095-8649
Published Online:28 August 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Fish Biology 101(5): 1285-1300
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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