Effects of stocking of piscivorous brown trout, Salmo trutta L., on stunted Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L.)


Børge Damsgård, Norwegian College of Fishery Science, University of Tramsø, P. O. Box 3038, Guleng, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway


To study the effects on a stunted freshwater population of Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L.), two groups of large (26–45 cm) individually tagged brown trout, Salmo trutta L., were released and recaptured with gillnets after 1, 7, 11 and 63 weeks. One group of trout was trained on a fish diet before release, and the other, reared on commercial dry pellets, served as a control. Specific growth rates in both groups were negative 1 week after release and approached zero after 63 weeks. Condition factor and internal fat content decreased during the experiment. Although only 11% of the trout stomachs examined contained fish prey, charr represented 79% of the total stomach weight content. Gillnet samples of charr before and 63 weeks after the release of trout indicated a decreasing population size of charr. Individual growth and mean length of charr increased after release of trout, especially for charr at age 4 years. After the release of trout, 35% of the charr were longer than 20 cm as compared with 6% before the release.