Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Neff, Bryan D.


Understanding how animals respond to environmental temperatures is important for the survival and reintroduction of species. My objectives were to determine how swim performance responds across water temperatures, and how rearing temperature or population would affect this performance and temperature preference. Juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) from two populations that are currently used for stocking in Lake Ontario (LaHave, Sebago) were reared at two temperatures (11°C, 19°C). I measured critical swim speed and burst swim speed across eight water temperatures (11 – 25°C). Water temperature had no effect on burst speed, while critical swim speed increased with increased temperatures. I found no effect of rearing temperature on burst speed, but critical swim speed was significantly higher for fish reared at 11°C than fish reared at 19°C. Temperature preferences aligned with rearing temperature in the Sebago population but not the LaHave population. Atlantic salmon demonstrate plasticity in swim performance and temperature preference.