Pattern and prevalence of predator damage on adult Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., returning to a river system in north-east Scotland

P M Thompson, F Mackay

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Abstract

There remains considerable debate over the impact of predation upon Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., populations. The pattern and prevalence of predator damage on salmon returning to a river system in North-east Scotland were recorded. Overall, 214 (19.5%) out of 1099 fish sampled were damaged, and 10 distinct categories of damage were identified. Measurements of scratches indicated that the damage was caused by a number of different factors. In particular, damage typically attributed to seals was suggested to be the result of attacks by odontocete cetaceans. These results highlight the multispecies nature of interactions between salmon and their predators, but suggest that damage levels may be of limited use in assessing the impact of different predators on salmonid population dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Volume6
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Atlantic salmon
  • dolphins
  • management
  • predators
  • Salmo salar L.
  • seals
  • BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHINS
  • MORAY FIRTH
  • HARBOR
  • HABITAT

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