The Influence of Symmetrical Feed:Fast Regimes on Oxytetracycline Uptake and Otolith Score in Yellow Perch

Daniel E. Spengler1, Travis W. Schaeffer2, Casey W. Schoenebeck3, Michael L. Brown*
1 Pure Fishing, 1900 18th Street, Spirit Lake, IA 51360, USA
2 U.S. Geological Survey, Yankton Field Research Station, 31247 436th, Avenue, Yankton, SD 57078, USA
3 Department of Biology, University of Nebraska at Kearney, 2401 11th, Avenue, Kearney, NE 68849, USA

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© 2013 Spengler et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Natural Resource Management, South Dakota State University, Box 2140B, Northern Plains Biostress Laboratory, Brookings, SD 57007, USA; Tel: (605)688-6121; Fax: (605)688-4515; E-mail:


Periods of growth from symmetric feed:fast regimes (i.e., days fed followed by the same number of days fasted) may increase the uptake of oxytetracycline (C22H24N2O9 .HCL[OTC]) compounds in fishes; however, little empirical data exists. Therefore, we experimentally determined if such feeding regimes influenced the concentration of OTC incorporated in muscle and skeletal (e.g., otoliths) tissues. Individually-reared female and batch-reared (male and female), age-1 yellow perch Perca flavescens were subjected to one of four experimental feeding regimes: control (i.e., fed daily), D2 (i.e., 2d feed, 2d deprivation), D6, or D12 symmetrical feed:fast regimes. Following several feeding cycles on these feeding regimes, fish were submersed in a 600mg/L buffered OTC solution; otoliths and muscle tissue were excised and processed to determine OTC uptake via mark quality and concentrations. Ranked otolith scores (mark quality) were significantly lower for the D2 feeding regime than control, D6, and D12 scores for both individual and batch trials suggesting that frequent food deprivation restricts osteogenesis, while daily or extended feeding periods contribute to osteogenesis. In batch-reared fish, total OTC and 4-epioxytetracycline peak concentrations in muscle tissue did not significantly differ among treatments but were significantly greater for smaller individuals within treatments suggesting that the OTC uptake and elimination response is mechanistically related to higher gill ventilation volume and gastric ingestion rate of small fish providing increased chemical assimilation and decreased clearing time following OTC immersions. Increased otolith mark quality derived from such feeding protocols may be of particular interest to fisheries managers conducting stock contribution assessments of yellow perch, but this induction strategy may apply to other species as well as therapies for hatchery stocks.

Keywords: Mark quality, muscle tissue, otolith, oxytetracycline, symmetrical feed:fast regime, yellow perch.