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Effect of a parasitic nematode, Truttaedacnitis truttae on growth and swimming ability of rainbow trout Russell, L. Robert

Abstract

Growth efficiencies and swimming abilities of fingerling and 1 1/2 year old rainbow trout infected with the nematode parasite Truttaedacnitis truttae are examined. Control trout and trout infected in the laboratory with 5, 10, 20, 40, or 80 worms exhibited similar growth characteristics within each of four experimental groups fed different rations of trout chow (1%, 2%, 3%, or 4% of wet body weight fed per day). Slightly decreasing growth rates were correlated with increasing numbers of nematode parasites. Differences between growth rates, amounts of food consumed and growth efficiencies of infected and non-infected fish were not statistically significant. Critical swimming speed, fixed velocity and burst velocity stamina tests revealed similar swimming abilities in both control and infected trout. Maximum swimming speeds attained and time to fatigue at cruising speeds were more closely related to fish size and rations fish were fed than to numbers of worms with which fish were infected. Importance to rainbow trout survival of large natural infections with T. nruttae is discussed.

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