Genetic differentiation between Atlantic salmon populations in the Windermere catchment

Hartley, S.E. and Pickering, A.D. (1994) Genetic differentiation between Atlantic salmon populations in the Windermere catchment. Ambleside, UK, Institute of Freshwater Ecology, 40pp. (WI/T11050y1/1).

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Genetic analysis, using single locus probes for genomic DNA, revealed that the juvenile Atlantic salmon populations in the Rivers Leven, Rothay and Troutbeck were related but genetically distinct. This genetic differentiation is greater than might be expected (by comparison with other salmon populations in the UK) and it is recommended that no action is taken which might promote genetic exchange between the three rivers. Thus, future fisheries management practices should treat the salmon from each site as separate genetic stocks. It is unlikely that any attempts to encourage fish currently spawning in the River Leven (downstream of Windermere) to utilize the upper catchment will be successful. The faster growth rate of juvenile salmon in the River Leven, compared with the River Rothay, probably results from a difference in temperature between the inflowing streams and the main outflow of Windermere. Precocious sexual maturation of some male parr was found in all three populations but the incidence (13-33%) is well within the range reported for other waters. Because of their enhanced growth rate, it is likely that some of the precocious males in the River Leven were 0+ fish. A very high incidence of hybridization (>18%) between Atlantic salmon and brown/sea trout was found in Troutbeck but not in the other rivers. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of these hybrids revealed them to be the product of several, independent cross-fertilizations involving both sexes of both species. The implications of this finding are discussed in relation to the availability of suitable spawning sites in Troutbeck.

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Genetic differentiation between Atlantic salmon populations in the Windermere catchment
Personal Creator/Author:
Hartley, S.E.
Pickering, A.D.
Number of Pages: 40
Date: 1994
Publisher: Institute of Freshwater Ecology
Place of Publication: Ambleside, UK
Funders: Environment Agency Archives North West
Contact Email Address:
Issuing Agency: Environment Agency, UK (Freshwater Biological Association)
Uncontrolled Keywords: England; Leven Catchment; Salmo salar; Rivers; Fisheries survey; Gene pool; Population genetics; Juveniles; Growth rate
Subjects: Ecology
Item ID: 8059
Depositing User: Hardy B Schwamm
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2012 12:33
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2012 12:33
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