Effects of CarbonDioxide on Rainbow Trout Larvae: Application for Invasive Fish Eradication


  • Jason Baldes Montana State University, 102 A Paisley Ct., Bozeman, Montana 59715 jason.baldes@gmail.com
  • Jackson A. Gross U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center 2327 University Way, Bozeman, MT 59715, US jgross@usgs.gov
  • Robert E. Gresswell U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center 2327 University Way, Bozeman, MT 59715, US
  • Molly Webb USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Bozeman Fish Technology Center, 4050 Bridger Canyon Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715


Currently, efforts are underway to eradicate invasive fish species that threaten the ecological integrity of aquatic ecosystems. Several studies have examined the effects of anesthetizing fish for easier handling, surgical procedures, tagging and management. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is an approved and efficient anesthetic for adult fish in medicine and aquaculture and is favorable due to lack of residues, zero withdrawal period and does not need to be registered as its classification is generally regarded as safe (GRAS). Carbon dioxide has also shown to have lethal effects on other life history stages of fish. In this study, various early life stages of Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) larvae were exposed to CO2 in the form of dry ice pellets to determine the critical period of sensitivity for mortality in a model salmonid species. Studies were conducted in aluminum tanks (n = 3 tanks per treatment, with three chambers in each tank with 40 larvae per chamber) with 68 liters of filtered creek water (dissolved CO2 = 4 mg/l, dissolved O2 = 8.125 mg/l, pH = 7.78, temperature = 12.9°C, conductivity = -55 mV, Total alkalinity as CaCO3 = 160 mg/l). Larvae exposed at post hatch day 10 had increased susceptibility to CO2, when compared with earlier embryonic stages. The results of the experiment indicate that early rainbow trout life history stages are susceptible to CO2 but only at late embryonic stages and may have implications for systematically eradicating invasive salmonids.






The Montana Chapter of The American Fisheries Society [Meeting Abstracts]