The goal of this research was to provide data to assist in optimizing freshwater aquaculture practices for sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), and specifically, for LSL a land-based, freshwater sockeye salmon farm. Thus, this study successfully conducted inaugural trials using 17 beta-estradiol waterborne treatments (200 μg/L, 400 μg/L and 800 μg/L) to feminize genetic males to develop an enhanced male population to achieve larger sized sockeye at slaughter. In addition, this study tested the effects of weekly netting stress over 100 days and revealed a significant reduction in body weight and length of juveniles, and a change in the abundance of three liver proteins involved in the immune-responsive gene regulation, protein processing and cytoskeletal structure organization. However, bacterial kidney disease prevalence, leukocyte count, hematocrit, and whole-body cortisol level were not affected. This research shows that mild physical stress does compromise growth in juvenile sockeye salmon and would restrict commercial production substantially.
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Thesis advisor: Marlatt, Vicki
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