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Abundance, seasonality and size of Atlantic salmon smolts entrained on power station intake screens in the Severn Estuary

Claridge, P.N. and Potter, I.C. (1994) Abundance, seasonality and size of Atlantic salmon smolts entrained on power station intake screens in the Severn Estuary. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 74 (03). p. 527.

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Atlantic salmon smolts were sampled from the intake screens of the Oldbury power station in the inner Severn Estuary at weekly intervals between July 1972 and June 1977. These catches, and those taken over nearly three years from the nearby Berkeley power station, demonstrated that the abundance of smolts in the estuary peaked in autumn (October) and, to a far greater extent, in spring (April and May). However, small numbers of smolts were occasionally found in all other months of the year except July. Standard length-frequency distributions of smolts remained unimodal throughout the year. Lengths ranged from 76 to 187 mm, mean 130·2 ±1·87 mm (95% CL), and wet weights ranged from 5·4 to 68·0 g, mean 26·9 ±1·17 g. The mean monthly standard length of smolts increased slightly between the autumn of one year and the spring/early summer of the next year, suggesting that, on average, the former were six months younger than the latter. The condition factor was significantly greater in autumn (1·40) than in spring (1·23). It is estimated that the total number of salmon smolts entrained annually on the screens at Oldbury during the five years ranged from 92 to 791, with a mean of 405. Total estimated numbers at Berkeley ranged from 196 to 788 per annum. The numbers at Oldbury are lower than those estimated for the downstream migrants of the Twaite shad, another anadromous species, and far lower than those of the most abundant of the marine fish species that use the Severn Estuary as a nursery area.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1994
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