Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Research Publications: UM-SG-RS-2010-16


Assessment of Prerelease Diet Regimes on Growth of Juvenile Atlantic Sturgeon.




Markin, EL; Lazur, A; Hengst, A


North American Journal of Aquaculture 72(2):172-176




To determine whether the growth rates of juvenile Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus would be improved if the fish were weaned to natural food before being released into a simulated natural environment, 60 sturgeon from the 2006 and 2007 year-classes (ages 2 and 1, respectively) were subjected to two prerelease diet regimes (n = 30 per treatment, 120 total). Each year-class was divided into two groups, a control group that was fed a commercial diet for 10 d until stocking into a 0.2-ha earthen pond in June 2008 and a treatment group that was weaned to natural food over a 10-d period before stocking. Final sampling (84 d poststocking) showed that year-class had an effect on the specific growth rate (% weight gain/d) but that treatment did not. The survival rates were 77% and 80% among the controls from the 2007 and 2006 year-classes and 87% and 90% among the treatment fish. This study shows that weaning to natural food before release into a natural environment does not significantly affect the specific growth or survival rates of Atlantic sturgeon.

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