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A study of the viability of salmon eggs and sperm after varying periods of storage Barrett, Izadore

Abstract

Experiments on the viability of salmonoid eggs and sperm under conditions of artificial storage were conducted at Lloyd's creek, Nelson creek and Cultus lake, B.C., from May to November, 1948. In May and June, preliminary experiments on the holding of Salmo gairdnerii kamloops eggs at Lloyd’s creek indicated the feasibility of the storage, especially at low temperatures. In October, further experiments at Nelson creek on Oncorhynchus keta eggs and sperm resulted in the development of a storage technique which was subsequently employed at Cultus lake in November. At Cultus lake, mature O. keta eggs were held in sealed, sterile 500 cc. Mason jars, one third full of eggs, for multiples of 12 hours up to 192 hours (8 days) at temperatures averaging 3.5°C. The O. keta sperm were held in 2 ounce screw-cap jars, approximately 5cc. of milt in each jar, under conditions similar to those for the eggs. Controls were run in all cases. The stored eggs and sperm were fertilized with, or used to fertilize, fresh sperm and eggs. The fertilized eggs were incubated for 24 hours. The eggs were then examined under the dissecting microscope for, evidences of cleavage. Two hundred egg lots for each time period were examined and the percent infertility determined. The results showed that O. keta eggs may be stored for 108 hours, under these conditions, with less than 20% infertility. The O. keta sperm may be held for 36 hours with less than 10% infertility. Beyond 36 hours, under the conditions of this experiment, the sperm results were erratic. The use of these results for fish cultural practices and for the salvage of mature eggs and sperm is suggested.

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