Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration

Date:
August 20, 2014
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
When salmon encounter turbulent, fast-moving water-such as rapids or areas downstream of dams -- they must move upstream using a behavior known as "burst swimming" that is similar to sprinting for humans. New research suggests that sockeye salmon that sprint to spawning grounds through fast-moving waters may be at risk.

New UBC research suggests that excessive burst swimming can impair wild salmon and cause death later on in their migration.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of British Columbia

Sockeye salmon that sprint to spawning grounds through fast-moving waters may be at risk, suggests new research by University of British Columbia scientists.

Related Articles


When salmon encounter turbulent, fast-moving water-such as rapids or areas downstream of dams -- they must move upstream using a behaviour known as "burst swimming" that is similar to sprinting for humans.

"Days after sockeye passed through extremely fast-moving water, we started to see fish dying only a short distance from their spawning grounds," said Nicholas Burnett, a research biologist at UBC and lead author of the study, published in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Previous UBC lab research found that burst swimming requires extra oxygen and energy, creates a build-up of stress metabolites like lactic acid in the blood, and may lead to cardiac collapse or heart attacks. This is the first study to show that excessive burst swimming can impair wild salmon and cause death later on in their migration. This phenomenon is known as 'delayed mortality.'

Researchers found that fish that chose to burst swim for long periods through the high flows downstream of a dam were more likely to die en route to their spawning grounds, after they passed through the fast flows, than those that chose to swim a bit slower. Burst swimming had a greater impact on female fish, supporting this group's research that shows female salmon are more sensitive to environmental hardships during migration.

"We now understand how this important but energetically costly swimming behaviour can impact the survival of sockeye during their upstream migration," said Burnett, who worked on this study as part of his master's research with UBC Forestry Professor Scott Hinch and Carleton University Professor Steven Cooke.

"Our work demonstrates how important it is for salmon to have easy access around obstacles in the river."

BACKGROUND

Researchers tagged fish with accelerometer transmitters, a new tracking technology that records how fast fish swim and how much oxygen they consume.

Tagged fish were released in the high flows downstream of a dam in southwestern British Columbia and tracked as they navigated through a fishway and two lakes to their spawning grounds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nicholas J. Burnett, Scott G. Hinch, Douglas C. Braun, Matthew T. Casselman, Collin T. Middleton, Samantha M. Wilson, Steven J. Cooke. Burst Swimming in Areas of High Flow: Delayed Consequences of Anaerobiosis in Wild Adult Sockeye Salmon. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, 2014; 000 DOI: 10.1086/677219

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820183938.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2014, August 20). Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820183938.htm
University of British Columbia. "Salmon forced to 'sprint' less likely to survive migration." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820183938.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins