Variable migration and delay in two stock components of an Atlantic salmon population

K. Kristinsson*, G. Gudbergsson, G. M. Gislason

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Migration obstacles, such as waterfalls, can delay the upriver migration of salmon, but little is known about the magnitude of such delays and the impact on different stock components. Atlantic salmon (n = 60) were captured by angling and radio tagged below natural waterfalls near the mouth of the Laxa River, northeast Iceland. The movement of the tagged fish was followed throughout the fishing and spawning season. The distributions of the tagged salmon and salmon caught by sport fishermen in the Laxa River were consistent. Water temperature had a significant effect on the behaviour of tagged salmon ascending the waterfalls. Salmon that spawned in the lower parts of the main river were delayed longer below the waterfalls than salmon spawning in the upper river. Salmon that spawned in tributaries tended to delay longer below the waterfalls than salmon spawning in the main river, and the average delay tended to be positively correlated with fish length. For multi-sea-winter salmon, the period from tagging until becoming stationary at a holding site near their spawning ground was 35 days on average, which was significantly longer than one-sea-winter salmon, in which this period was 17 days on average.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1523
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Biology of Fishes
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was financed by the Salmonid Enhancement Fund. We also thank the fishing guides and fishermen who assisted in the catching and tagging of the salmon as well as local people who helped during this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Other keywords

  • Distribution
  • Environmental factors
  • Radio tagging
  • Riverine migration
  • Salmo salar
  • Waterfalls


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