Assessment of two feeds on survival, proximate composition, and amino acid carbon isotope discrimination in hatchery-reared Chinook salmon
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Assessment of two feeds on survival, proximate composition, and amino acid carbon isotope discrimination in hatchery-reared Chinook salmon

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  • Journal Title:
    Fisheries Research
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    Chinook salmon (Oncoryhnchus tshawytscha) populations along the North Pacific coast have declined dramatically in recent decades. Hatchery-based experimental diet studies have the potential to inform Chinook salmon aquaculture practices, aid in stock enhancement, and determine species-specific parameters which can be applied to studies of wild fish. We fed hatchery-reared juvenile Chinook salmon two diets -- a fishmeal-based diet (BioVita™) and an alternative diet (BioClark’s™) made partially from terrestrially derived protein. We measured a suite of fish survival, growth, and nutritional performance metrics to determine if the diets had differing effects on fish development. We also determined amino acid 13C trophic discrimination factors (TDFs) between diet and tissue for liver, muscle, and whole body homogenate. We found no difference in freshwater survival, marine survival, or proximate composition between fish from the two diet treatments. Within the amino acid 13C TDFs, we found that the essential amino acids phenylalanine, leucine, and isoleucine had no isotopic discrimination between diet and any of the Chinook salmon tissues analyzed, making those amino acids the best candidates for determining nutrient and carbon sources in wild fish. This is the first time amino acid 13C TDFs have been determined for a Pacific salmon species, thus contributing a critical step in understanding the implications of any future research conducted on amino acid isotopic biogeochemistry and carbon source dynamics in these coastal-oceanic species. Additionally, these results show that the alternative terrestrially derived feed may be as effective in rearing juvenile Chinook salmon as the more expensive fishmeal-based feed.
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    Fisheries Research, 219
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