DAO prepress abstract  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03158

Myxobolus arcticus and Parvicapsula minibicornis infections in sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka following migration to the ocean in British Columbia, Canada

A. M. Mahony, S. C. Johnson, C. M. Neville, M. E. Thiess, S. R. M. Jones*

*Email: simon.jones@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

ABSTRACT: Factors influencing the health of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka in British Columbia, Canada are important for fisheries management and conservation. Juvenile salmon originating from the Fraser River were screened for three enzootic parasites (Myxobolus arcticus, Parvicapsula minibicornis, Ceratonova shasta) and the bacterium Renibacterium salmoninarum. Fish were collected from the Strait of Georgia in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and genotyped to stock of origin. Trends in infection status were estimated by year, spawning zone and catch area. The annual prevalences of P. minibicornis (n = 1448) were 23.3, 6.5 and 8.1% and for M. arcticus (n = 1343) annual prevalences were 40.4, 66.3 and 27.4%, respectively. Logistic regression showed that P. minibicornis was most strongly associated with salmon from the lower Fraser River spawning zone and increased with distance caught from the mouth of the Fraser River. In contrast, infection with M. arcticus was most strongly associated with salmon from the middle Fraser River spawning zone and there was no trend related to distance from the Fraser River. Neither R. salmoninarum nor C. shasta were detected. These observations are discussed in the context of salmon life history and pathogen biology.