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Behavioral type, in interaction with body size, affects the recapture rate of brown trout Salmo trutta juveniles in their nursery stream

Journal article
Authors Joacim Näslund
Niklas Wengström
Fredrik Wahlqvist
David Aldvén
Libor Zavorka
Johan Höjesjö
Published in Integrative Zoology
Volume 13
Issue 5
Pages 604-611
ISSN 1749-4877
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 604-611
Language en
Keywords animal personality, freshwater fish, recapture rate, Salmonidae
Subject categories Zoology


Movement activity levels of wild animals often differ consistently among individuals, reflecting different behavioral types. Previous studies have shown that laboratory‐scored activity can predict several ecologically relevant characteristics. In an experiment on wild brown trout Salmo trutta, spanning from June to October, we investigated how spring swimming activity, measured in a standardized laboratory test, related to relative recapture probability in autumn. Based on laboratory activity scores, individuals clustered into 2 groups, which showed contrasting patterns in the size‐dependency of their recapture probability. Size had a slightly positive effect on recapture probability for passive fish but a clear negative effect on active fish. Our results show that the population structure in a cohort, in terms of relative proportions of behavioral types in different size classes, can vary over time. The results of this study could depend on either selective mortality or migration. However, selective disappearance of individuals with specific phenotypes, regardless of the mechanism, will have implications for trout population management, such as stocking efficiency of hatchery fish with high growth rates or maintenance of fishways past migration barriers.

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