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MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 541:151-163 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11535

Migration speed, routes, and mortality rates of anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta during outward migration through a complex coastal habitat

David Aldvén1,*, Richard Hedger2, Finn Økland2, Peter Rivinoja3, Johan Höjesjö

1Department of Biology and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Box 463, 405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden
2Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, PO Box 5685 Sluppen, 7485, Trondheim, Norway
3Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Skogsmarksgränd 901 83, Umeå, Sweden
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Little is known about migratory routes and habitat use of anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta at sea. We therefore conducted a 2 yr study (2011-2012) on sea trout in the River Himleån system (a river, an estuary, and a coastal sea environment) in western Sweden. The main objectives were to investigate migration speed, migration routes, and mortality both for adult brown trout returning to the sea (kelts) and smolts (generally 2 yr old trout migrating to the sea for the first time). Brown trout were captured and tagged with hydro-acoustic transmitters, after which they were released and monitored during their initial migration. Migration was primarily nocturnal in the river and estuary, whereas no tendency for nocturnal migration was observed along the coast. Migration speed tended to decrease as individuals progressed from the river through the estuary and along the coast, and we found no differences in absolute migration speed between kelts and smolts. Smolts and kelts showed similar mortality. Mortality during the initial part of the migration ranged between 5 and 51% and was significantly higher in 2011, for both smolts and kelts. Our study is the first to compare migratory patterns and mortality rates between sea trout kelts and smolts during the transition from freshwater into an open coastal system.


KEY WORDS: Sea trout · Telemetry · Kelt · Smolt · Swimming speed · Survival · Salmon


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Cite this article as: Aldvén D, Hedger R, Økland F, Rivinoja P, Höjesjö J (2015) Migration speed, routes, and mortality rates of anadromous brown trout Salmo trutta during outward migration through a complex coastal habitat. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 541:151-163. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11535

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