Descaling Injury Impairs the Osmoregulatory Ability of Atlantic Salmon Smolts Entering Seawater
The effect of descaling injury on the osmoregulatory ability of hatchery Atlantic salmon Salmo salar smolts in seawater was investigated. Experimental series were initiated during early, middle, and late periods of the spring smolt migration (April 25, May 11, and May 31, respectively). For each time series, descaled smolts (subjected to descaling on 10% of the body surface area) and control smolts (held out of water for 15 s) were transferred to seawater at 0, 1, 3, or 7 d posttreatment. After fish were held in 35% seawater for 24 h, gill and blood samples were collected and analyzed for Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity and plasma osmolyte levels. Based on gill Na(+),K(+)-ATPase activity, the three series spanned the period from early smolting (increasing activity) to de-smolting (decreasing activity). In each series, descaled fish transferred to seawater at 0 and 1 d posttreatment had greater plasma osmolality than control fish; descaled fish transferred to seawater at 3 d posttreatment did not differ from controls. The greatest perturbation in osmolality (70 milliosmoles) was observed at the peak of smolting (middle series), whereas lesser increases were seen for early and late-series smolts. The observed osmotic perturbations in descaled fish would probably reduce performance and decrease survival during smolt migration.
J. Zydlewski, Gayle Zydlewski, and G. R. Danner. "Descaling Injury Impairs the Osmoregulatory Ability of Atlantic Salmon Smolts Entering Seawater" Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139.1 (2010): 129-136.
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