Riverine and fjord migration of wild and hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon smolts



Migration timing, speed, survival and effects of environmental parameters on migration, between wild and hatchery produced Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts in the River Lærdalselva were studied. Hatchery-reared (= 40) and wild pre-smolts (= 40) were tagged with acoustic tags, and an array of receivers along the migration route was deployed. In all, 77 and 85% of the fish from the two groups, respectively, were recorded as migrating smolts, that is, predation rate and/or numbers of fish opting to remain in the river were low. Hatchery-reared smolts showed a migration pattern, speed and migration route similar to wild smolts, even though the time period between river release and onset of migration was relatively short. Both groups of smolt showed high migration speed through both the river and the fjord compared with other studies.