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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Growth, incidence of bacterial kidney disease and immunological function of salmonids reared in captivity Mazur, Carl François


Pacific salmon reared commercially off of the Coast of British Columbia suffer great mortality losses to Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD), caused by the diplobacillus bacterium Renibacterium salmqninarum. This thesis investigates the effects of environmental conditions on the growth performance and disease susceptibility of salmonids reared in captivity. I found that growth rate of chinook salmon was significantly higher in fish fed to 100 compared to 67 % of satiation during the first 175 days of saltwater rearing but not during the first winter. Feed coversion rate was significantly higher for fish fed at 100 % of satiation compared to 67 % of satiation and higher during the winter compared to summer and fall, irrespective of feeding level. Mortality rates were significantly higher during the summer than during the fall or winter, irrespective of experimental treatment. The last BKD sampling period (day 263) revealed that infection rates were directly proportional to stocking densities of 1.5 to 4 kg.m⁻₃. Hatchery-reared chinook salmon held in freshwater aquaria had significantly lower hematocrit and plasma cortisol concentration increases in response to increased stocking density than did their wild counterparts. Crowding of hatchery-reared and wild chinook salmon resulted in equally increased mortality rates for both groups of fish. Day 33 plasma cortisol concentrations in Atlantic salmon held at three stocking densities were directly proportional to stocking densities of 8 to 64 kg.m⁻₃. The ability of anterior kidney lymphocytes from these fish to produce antibody-producing cells was inversely proportional to the density at which the fish were held.

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