Seawater tolerance and morphological assessment of yearling sea trout (Salmo trutta L.)

Document Type : Short communication


1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, K.Helmaņa iela 8, Jelgava, 3004, Latvia

2 Fish Resources Research Department, Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment BIOR, Daugavgrīvas iela 8, Riga, 1048, Latvia



To study seawater tolerance and make a morphological assessment of yearling sea trout, their maturation and smoltification signs were estimated in two different fish rearing systems in Latvia,—in recirculating and flow-through system. For yearling sea trout (Salmo trutta L.), fish hypo-osmoregulatory ability was evaluated using seawater tolerance test, also fish morphological parameters were analyzed from January to May. April and May are months when smoltification occurs for wild sea trout in nature. Sea trout from recirculating system initially showed better growth, higher survival rate, and hypo-osmoregulatory ability, due to the elevated rearing water temperature. However, the situation completely changed in May when natural smoltification peaked and wild sea trout migration to the sea occurred—survival rate for yearling sea trout reared in recirculating system dropped to zero. Nevertheless, survival of fish from flow-through system increased, reaching 33%. Furthermore, in flow-through systems, sea trout that survived had significantly lower condition factor, also silvering level was higher compared those who did not survive. Weight was not a useful factor for determination of sea trout smoltification. The most part of yearling sea trout did not smoltify at the age of 1 year and should be reared for one more year before release in natural watercourses foreseen for migration to the sea.