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Use of Exercise and Structure during Rainbow Trout Rearing

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Document pages: 12 pages

Abstract: Acombination of two forms of environmental enrichment (in-tank structure andexercise) was evaluated during the hatchery rearing of juvenile rainbow trout Oncorhynchusmykiss. The study used four treatments: 1) neither exercise nor structure, 2) exercise withoutstructure, 3) structure without exercise, and 4) both exercise and structure. Velocities in the unexercised tanks were aconstant 12.2 cm-s-1. Velocities in the exercised tanks alternatedweekly with one week at 12.2 cm-s-1 followed by a week at 30.5 cm-s-1.Structural enrichment consisted of an array of vertically-suspended aluminumangles. The use of either environmental enrichment technique significantlyimproved final tank weight, gain, percent gain, and specific growth rate. Feedconversion ratio was significantly and positively influenced only by structure,but fish on the exercise routine were overfed. There were no significantinteractions between exercise and structure, indicating that each form ofenvironmental enrichment operates independently. The results of this studyindicate fish rearing performance can be improved with the addition of eithervertically-suspended aluminum angles or an exercise routine, but thecombination of the two techniques may not be needed to improve rainbow troutgrowth.

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