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Night stocking facilitates nocturnal migration of hatchery-reared Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, smolts


  • L. J. ROBERTS,

  • J. TAYLOR,

  • P. J. GOUGH,

  • D. W. FORMAN,


Carlos Garcia de Leaniz, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Biological Sciences, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK (e-mail:


Abstract  Hatchery-reared salmon, Salmo salar L., smolts are generally stocked during daylight hours, but the natural migration of smolts tends to occur at night. Recapture rates and timing of migration were compared between Atlantic salmon smolts stocked during the day and during the evening. Timing of release had no significant effect on the number of smolts recaptured, but had a strong effect on nocturnal behaviour. When stocked in the evening (but not during the day) hatchery-reared smolts moved almost exclusively during the night. This study suggests that timing the release to coincide with the natural time of smolt migration may provide valuable acclimatisation and facilitate nocturnal smolt passage.