Contributory studies to the development, validation and field use of a telemetry system to monitor ventilation and trophic activity in wild Brown Trout
This work was performed as part of a major research project into the evaluation of the ecology of lake dwelling Brown Trout, Salmo trutta L. using ultrasonic biotelemetry techniques. The supplementary research results. leading up to and after the execution of a program of experiments involving the telemetry of feeding and ventilatory rhythms are described: 1. The presence of red (slow) fibres in the adductor mandibulae muscle of Brown Trout was confirmed to be as previously described in the Rainbow Trout, Sälmo gairdneri Richardson and other salmonids. 2. By electromyographic (EMG) and pharmacological means, the red fibres in the a. mandibulae were shown to be active during ventilation and the mosaic fibres comprising the bulk of the muscle were recruited during more dynamic events such as feeding and coughing. Observations were made on the innervation of the red fibres. 3. Comparative investigations made at sea on large deep sea Squaloid and Galeoid sharks (which have a simple adductor muscle like the Trout) showed an identical functional differentiation as obtained in the Trout. 4. The presence of a migratory 'pace setter potential' was found for the first time in Fish. Its use as an indicator of feeding activity by telemetry was rejected on practical grounds. ýýY NO 5. An ultrasonic transmitter was developed to telemeter an analogue of the adductor mandibulae EMG from wild Brown Trout, using a novel electrode design. Four fish were so equipped and released into Airthrey Loch, University of Stirling and tracked for up to 24 hours (following a 24 hr allowance for post-anaesthetic recovery). Feeding and ventilatory periodicity, linear and angular movement patterns and photoperiod were intercorrelated. Angle of turn and subsequent step length were positively correlated and feeding activity was marked by a preference for dextral turning. 'Area restricted searching' and 'area avoided searching' were the probable causes of the movement patterns seen in this and previous investigations at Airthrey Loch. A depth preference and orientation of the fish to topography was demonstrated. Following analysis of the angle of turn and step length data, it was concluded that the larger transmitter package and more severe surgery materially affected the fishes' behaviour relative to data previously obtained at Airthrey Loch using smaller transmitters. 6. Due to difficulties experienced in 5 above due to an unsuspected effect on the a. mandibulae EMG detectable up to 24 hrs post-anaesthesia, a frequency analysis was made of the a. mandibulae EMG of the Brown Trout and several other species. This disclosed that the EMG from red fibres has a frequency spectrum considerably lower than that of 'standard' mammalian muscle. The progressive failure of the EMG transmitter with time was due to a combination of the anaesthetic effect and the frequency spectrum relative to certain design features. In the light of these observations, subsequent designs of the EMG transmitter were able to take this into account.