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Fish FISH DIVISION
Regulating harvest, protection, and enhancement of fish populations
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Recent and Ongoing Research Projects at the Oregon Hatchery Research Center

Behavior of Reproductively Sterile Steelhead in the Clackamas River

A fundamental challenge for ODFW fishery managers is to produce recreational angling opportunities on returning hatchery adults, while protecting native stocks of the same species in the same river system. Creating a sterile hatchery fish may help in this management challenge.

We surgically removed the reproductive organs of female and male hatchery adults and inserted small radio transmitting tags in those fish to allow us to determine their position and behavior in the Clackamas River. The surgically sterilized fish remain in the river, behave very much as intact (normal) fish, and are caught at about the same rate by recreational anglers.

Read more about this project.

Sandy Salmon

Behavior of Reproductively Sterile Steelhead in the Clackamas River

A fundamental challenge for ODFW fishery managers is to produce recreational angling opportunities on returning hatchery adults, while protecting native stocks of the same species in the same river system. Creating a sterile hatchery fish may help in this management challenge.

We surgically removed the reproductive organs of female and male hatchery adults and inserted small radio transmitting tags in those fish to allow us to determine their position and behavior in the Clackamas River. The surgically sterilized fish remain in the river, behave very much as intact (normal) fish, and are caught at about the same rate by recreational anglers.

Read more about this project.

Florazine Test

Pressure Shock Induction of Triploid Rainbow Trout

The use of sexually sterile fish, such as triploid rainbow trout, has many applications in fish culture and fish management. In Oregon, thermal (heat) shock is the current standard for production of triploid rainbow trout and has been used at a production level since 2004. Although the process is viable, the triploid rate is variable and the survival is often poor.

Pressure shocking is an alternative method of creating triploid trout and our studies identified two pressure treatments that offered a triploid rate of 100 percent, and a higher egg survival rate. These findings will be incorporated into the production of ODFW hatcheries.

Read more about this project.

Pressure Shock Rainbow Fish Eggs

Accelerated Smoltification Through Diet Enhancement

Getting hatchery steelhead to out migrate and begin their journey to the Pacific Ocean as soon as they are released from a hatchery is important for many reasons.  The sooner hatchery fish make it to the ocean, the less time they are exposed to fresh water predators, and the less time they will be spent in direct competition with wild fish for both habitat and food in their natal streams.

Researchers studied a commercial salt-enriched diet to see if, as claimed, it would encourage more timely out migration of steelhead smolts. Small groups of winter steelhead smolts were fed two different diets – one salt-enriched, the other a control diet. The fish were monitored every two weeks for 10 weeks for changes in physiology and morphology, and then placed into simulated streams in order to observe out migration behavior. Both the growth and out migration rates in the test and control groups were very similar, suggesting that future research is needed to fully understand the effects of these new salt water preparation diets.

Read more about this project.

Hatchery Steelhead

Migration, Physiology and Behavior of Coastal Coho Salmon in Oregon

Mortality of both hatchery and wild smolts can be substantial (40 – 60 percent) as they move downstream, but we have very limited understanding of the factors that influence their survival. Similarly, while we have overall estimates of ocean survival and growth, we have virtually no way to relate those estimates to individual differences among the fish.

This is a study of the physiology, behavior and ecology of smolts of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), or steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Alsea River basin. We will implant small ultrasonic transmitter tags into juvenile smolts of the study species as they begin their downstream migration to the ocean. Through a series of fixed receivers along the river and a fixed array of receivers along the Pacific coast will record the location of individual tagged fish and correlate the physiological and behavioral measurements of the smolts to their subsequent downstream movement, and their freshwater and ocean survival and growth.

The results of this study will provide basic ecological information on the life history, ecology, physiology and behavior of Pacific salmon. More importantly, the results will be critical to our understanding of hatchery and wild salmon.

Read more about this project.

Chinook
   

 

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