Effects of Temperature and Ration Level on the Growth and Food Conversion Efficiency of Rainbow Trout, Salmo gairdneri, Richardson
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The effects of temperature and ration size on the growth rate and gross efficiency of food conversion of juvenile rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri were evaluated during 25-day seasonal experiments. Rations ranged from near-starvation to repletion levels. Test temperatures were 3 and 6°C higher than the controls which fluctuated dielly and seasonally. At rations near maintenance, elevated temperatures decreased trout growth. As the feeding rate increased the detrimental effect of temperature on growth was ameliorated. At repletion feeding levels, elevated temperature up to 17°C improved trout growth by increasing the maximum food consumption rate. With a temperature increase from 6.9 to 22.5°C maintenance rations increased from 2.2 to 7.5 % body weight per day. Gross efficiency was dependent upon ration level and temperature. As the food consumption rate increased, efficiency increased to a maximum, then generally declined at repletion levels. Elevated temperatures resulted in reduced efficiencies at low consumption rates but temperatures had little effect at high ration levels. A field study provided estimates of the food consumption relationships established in the laboratory, suggested any substantial increase of stream temperature without a concomitant increase of food abundance would result in decreased trout production.
Wurtsbaugh, W. and G. Davis. 1977. Effects of temperature and ration level on the growth and food conversion efficiency of rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri, Richardson. J. Fish Biol. 11: 87-98.