Lake-use by juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and other salmonids in northern Norway


Zoology Department, Tromsø Museum, University of Tromsø, N-9037, Tromsø, Norway


Abstract– The utilization of lakes, and inlet and outlet streams by juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.), brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) and Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus (L.), were investigated in 16 watercourses northern Norway, all known to inhabit salmon stocks. In lakes, fish were caught by small mesh size gill nets, while in rivers fish were caught electrofishing. In the shallow littoral (0-3 m depth) there were juvenile salmon in 15 of 19 investigated lakes, juvenile trout in 17 and juvenile charr in seven. Trout dominated significantly in numbers in the shallow littoral of seven lakes, while salmon and charr dominated in three lakes each. When trout and salmon were frequent in the shallow littoral, charr was usually not present in this habitat, but were found in the profundal zone in most of the lakes. Atlantic salmon parr utilized both shallow and deep lakes, and used both stones and macrophytic vegetation as shelter. The utilization of lakes by salmon parr seemed to be closely related to utilization of small inlet streams for spawning. In most inlet and outlet streams salmon dominated over trout in numbers, while charr were absent. This is the first documentation of lake-use by naturally occurring salmon parr in Scandinavia.