Rainbow Smelt Weaning and the Effects of Temperature and Salinity on Juvenile Growth


The rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax is a small anadromous fish that has potential as an aquaculture species because of its value as a premium baitfish. Three studies were conducted to establish a weaning protocol for larval rainbow smelt and to define the temperature and salinity ranges that support growth during their juvenile stages. In the first study, larvae were randomly assigned to one of two five-phase weaning protocols that lasted for 2 or 3 d per phase (designated P2 and P3, respectively) and a control group that was fed Artemia metanauplii throughout the study (n = 3 tanks per treatment). In the second study, weaned juveniles (approximately 67 d posthatch) were cultured in triplicate tanks at 16, 20, and 24 degrees C and 15 g/L salinity. In the third study, weaned juveniles (approximately 180 d posthatch) were cultured in triplicate tanks at 0, 5, and 15 g/L salinity and at 17 degrees C. Survival in the P2 (20.3%) and P3 (28.4%) treatment groups did not differ, but survival in the P2 group was lower than that in controls (46%). Survival did not differ in weaned juveniles raised at different salinities or temperatures, but growth declined at temperatures higher than 16 degrees C. A high degree of cannibalism was noted in the postmetamorphosed juveniles, and procedures must be developed to minimize this problem in commercial operations.

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North American Journal of Aquaculture


Taylor & Francis

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©American Fisheries Society 2012