Spawning-Age Differences and their Temporal Trends in Wild and Sea-Ranched Atlantic Salmon Stocks, from Stock Mixture Data

Irma Kallio-Nyberg1, *, #, Marja-Liisa Koljonen2, Irma Saloniemi3
1 Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Korsholmanpuistikko 16, FI-65100 Vaasa, Finland;
2 Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, P.O. Box 2, FI-00791 Helsinki, Finland;
3 University of Turku, Department of Biology, Laboratory of Genetics, FI-20014 Turku, Finland

Article Metrics

CrossRef Citations:
Total Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 583
Abstract HTML Views: 413
PDF Downloads: 0
Total Views/Downloads: 996
Unique Statistics:

Full-Text HTML Views: 350
Abstract HTML Views: 260
PDF Downloads: 0
Total Views/Downloads: 610

© 2014 Kallio-Nyberg 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 Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Korsholmanpuistikko 16, FI-65100 Vaasa, Finland; Tel: +358 295 327 678; E-mail:
* The Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute will merge with MTT Agrifood Research Finland, the Finnish Forest Research Institute and the statistical services of the Information Centre of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Tike on 1 January 2015, to form Natural Resources Institute Finland


Origin and age was determined for individual fish caught in offshore catches of Atlantic salmon stocks (Salmo salar L.) in the Baltic Sea over the years 2000–2009. DNA microsatellite loci and smolt age were used to probabilistically assign returning spawners to their stock of origin. Data for this study were based on approximately 2600 catch samples of the five most common wild and four sea-ranched, hatchery-reared stocks. Spawning age, and sex ratio differed both within and between these wild, and sea-ranched groups. The females were mainly (78.7%) two sea-winters old and the males usually (68.7%) only one sea-winter old. In both sexes, the mean age at maturity was lower in the hatchery-reared, sea-ranched stocks than in naturally reproducing stocks. In the 2000s, there was a weak decreasing trend in the male spawning age, but not in that of females. The sex-ratio of the spawners was female dominant in the naturally reproducing stocks, but male dominant in hatchery-reared stocks. Published historical data from two of the same rivers suggest that the majority of males were multi-sea-winter spawners in the 1930s, and variation in the age distribution of the spawners has become narrower and skewed towards a younger age in the present data (2000–2009) compared to the earlier situation.

Keywords: Baltic sea, genetic mixed stock analysis, individual assignment, Salmo salar, sea age at maturity, sex.