Larval Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) acceptance of formulated diets based on maternal lineage
Motquin, Jadon A.
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Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) populations declined throughout the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins during the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to overexploitation and habitat degradation. Aquaculture of Lake Sturgeon can be expensive where brine shrimp, blood worms, and krill (traditional diets) are fed. Formulated diets, a cheaper option, were fed to sturgeon over a 120-day period to determine acceptance rates across maternal lineages while comparing survival, growth, and body condition to traditional diets. Eggs were collected from the Wolf River and transported to Genoa National Fish Hatchery. Survival was recorded daily, and subsamples were measured to total length (±1 mm) and weighed (±0.001 g) biweekly. A Kaplan Meier analysis determined that mortality distribution was significantly different for all females and diets. A two-way ANOVA revealed significantly higher survival for traditional diets on day 120 (χ2 = 3886, df = 5, P < 0.001). A repeated measures ANOVA revealed both total length (F1,11 = 62.2, P <0.001) and body condition (F2,11 = 4.37, P = 0.04) to be significantly higher for traditional diets. These formulated diets provide further evidence indicating maternal lineages were similar in all parameters and Lake Sturgeon will survive and grow once acceptance has occurred.