During the periods 1956–1963 and 1967–1970 traps were operated to catch upstream- and downstream-migrating sea trout, Salmo trutta L. A total of 15 788 sea trout were tagged, using Carlin tags. The number of recaptures made in the traps was 4481, of which 1796 were recaptured more than once.
The distribution of the 2122 recaptures in the sea provides a picture of the sea-migration pattern. Of the sea recaptures, 52.8% were reported as within a distance of 3 km from the river mouth, compared to 0.7% more than 80 km away. All the different size-groups of sea trout were represented among both the long-distance and the short-distance migrants. The results of this study of sea trout migrations are discussed in relation to the published results for Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., and sea charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L.), from the same river.
The four highest values recorded for mean distance of daily travel away from the river were 20, 8, 8 and 6km day−1 by smolts and 6, 6, 5 and 5km day−1 by larger-sized sea trout.
Recaptures of tagged sea trout in rivers other than the Vardnes totalled 506, of which 306 had been tagged as smolts. The calculated minimum percentage of stray is 15.5%. The proportion of sea trout from the Vardnes river that actually spawn in other rivers is not known. No significant difference in length distribution was found between the sea trout caught in the Vardnes river and those caught in other rivers. An hypothesis concerning the selective advantages of straying by anadromous salmonids living in small rivers is discussed.
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