The effectiveness of marking age-0 lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens Rafinesque, pectoral fin rays with a stable strontium isotope was evaluated. Age-0 lake sturgeon were reared in water spiked with 0 (control), 25, 50, or 100 μg L-1 86SrC03 for 10 and 24 d; fish from each treatment group were retained for up to 120 d post-labeling to assess mark retention. Enriched isotope marks imparted to fin rays were distinct from fin ray 88Sr/86Sr ratios of control fish immediately following marking, with the 100 μg L-1 86SrCO3 treatments consistently yielding the highest rate of marking success (83-92%). Lower marking success (25-69%) was observed with the 25 and 50 μg L-1 86SrCO3 treatments. Isotopic marks in fin rays were retained for 120 d post-labeling. Immersion marking of juvenile fish pectoral fin rays with distinct strontium isotope ratios is possible and does not require sacrificing fish to check for marks.

Journal Title

Fisheries Management and Ecology



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