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Clements, S. R. Chitwood, and C.B. Schreck. 2011. Effect of commercially available egg cures on the survival of juvenile salmonids. PLoS ONE. 6:1-10.


There is some concern that incidental consumption of eggs cured with commercially available cures for the purpose of sport fishing causes mortality in juvenile salmon. We evaluated this by feeding juvenile spring Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and steelhead (O. mykiss) with eggs cured with one of five commercially available cures. We observed significant levels of mortality in both pre-smolts and smolts. Depending on the experiment, 2, 3, or 4 of the cures were associated with mortality. Mortality tended to be higher in the smolts than in the parr, but there was no clear species effect. The majority of mortality occurred within the first 10 d of feeding. Removal of sodium sulfite from the cure significantly reduced the level of mortality. Soaking the eggs prior to feeding did not reduce mortality. We observed a clear relationship between the amount of cured egg consumed each day and the survival time. We conclude that consumption of eggs cured with sodium sulfite has the potential to cause mortality in juvenile steelhead and Chinook salmon in the wild.


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In Press
June 2011


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  1. U.S. Geological Survey