• Reproductive Failure of Landlocked Atlantic Salmon from New York's Finger Lakes: Investigations into the Etiology and Epidemiology of the “Cayuga Syndrome”

      Fisher, J.P.; Spitsbergen, J.M.; Rodman, G.; symula, j. (American Fisheries Society, 1995)
      We describe a disease syndrome that afflicts larval, landlocked Atlantic salmon Salmo salar from Cayuga Lake, one of central New York's Finger Lakes. Mortality associated with the “Cayuga syndrome” is 98–100%. Death usually occurs between 650 and 850 centigrade degreedays after fertilization, approximately 2–4 weeks before yolk resorption is complete. Although there is minor temporal variation in the onset of the Cayuga syndrome in progeny from individual females, all sac fry eventually succumb. Incubation of embryos and sac fry under constant, ambient, or reduced temperature regimens slightly alters the degree-day timing of syndrome onset, but does not improve survival. Based on mortality rate, manifestation of the Cayuga syndrome has not changed in the past 10 years, even though incubation waters of varying chemistry and temperature have been used. Mortality of the negative control stocks used for these studies never exceeded 10% from hatching to first feeding. Findings from reciprocal crossbreeding experiments indicate the problem is associated with ova only. A noninfectious etiology is indicated by the lack of consistently identifiable fish pathogens from syndrome-afflicted sac fry and by the failure to transmit the condition horizontally. Suspect contaminants were eliminated as potential causative factors. Epidemiological studies on the viability of other Finger Lakes stocks indicate that Atlantic salmon from Keuka and Seneca lakes are also afflicted (100% mortality). yet those from Skaneateles Lake are not. The cause of this syndrome appears to be nutritional.