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Keywords:

  • Benthic fish;
  • diatoms;
  • heterophils;
  • lymphocytic leukogram;
  • polychromasia

Background

Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) is a long-lived freshwater fish distributed throughout the Great Lakes region and is a threatened species in New York State. The species' unique life cycle makes it useful as an indicator of ecosystem health, and efforts to repatriate Lake Sturgeon to their historic range are underway. However, comprehensive hematologic and biochemical reference intervals that would be valuable for assessing the health status of individual animals have not been reported.

Objectives

The objective of this study was to determine normal hematologic and plasma biochemical reference intervals for healthy wild Lake Sturgeon.

Methods

Blood samples were collected from 52 wild Lake Sturgeon caught in gill nets in the St. Lawrence River. Heparinized whole blood and plasma samples were analyzed using standard techniques. Reference intervals were calculated using the robust method following elimination of outliers and Box–Cox transformation of data.

Results

Hematologic reference intervals were as follows: PCV 17–38%, estimated WBC count 2740–23,150/μL, neutrophils 193–6121/μL, eosinophils 0–558/μL, other granulocytes/heterophils 0–488/μL, lymphocytes 1447–14,044/μL, and monocytes 55–1684/μL. Plasma biochemical reference intervals were as follows: aspartate aminotransferase 333–1746 U/L, calcium 1.85–2.80 mmol/L, chloride 95–123 mmol/L, creatine kinase 776–35,536 U/L, glucose 2.94–14.76 mmol/L, glutamate dehydrogenase 6–30 U/L, phosphate 2.03–5.81 mmol/L, potassium 2.34–4.24 mmol/L, sodium 122.9–151.1 mmol/L, total protein 2.0–4.4 g/dL, triglycerides 1.07–5.12 mmol/L, and uric acid 1–251 μmol/L.

Conclusion

Reference intervals reported here will be useful for health assessment of wild and repatriated Lake Sturgeon.