Otolith marking of juvenile shortnose gar by immersion in oxytetracycline

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Abstract

Oxytetracycline (OTC) has been used to mark a variety of fish species at multiple developmental stages; however, there is little information on batch-marking Lepisosteidae. Juvenile Shortnose Gar Lepisosteus platostomus (53 ± 3 mm TL) were seined from an Oklahoma State University research pond and transported to the Oklahoma Fishery Research Lab. Juvenile Shortnose Gar were exposed to a range of OTC concentrations—0, 500, 600, and 700 mg/L—for 4, 5, or 6 h. Lapillus and sagitta otoliths were examined 14 d postexposure for mark presence and evaluation using fluorescent microscopy. Overall, 93.3% of otoliths exposed to OTC exhibited a mark. Concentration of OTC affected the mean mark quality, whereas duration and otolith type examined did not. However, as concentration increased, so did mortality, suggesting a balance is needed to achieve marking goals. Based on our findings, batch marking of Shortnose Gar can be successful at OTC concentrations from 500 to 700 mg/L for 4-6 h, although mark quality may vary and mortality rates increase at the higher concentrations and longer durations.

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Snow, R. A., & Long, J. M. (2017). Otolith marking of juvenile shortnose gar by immersion in oxytetracycline. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 37(4), 724–728. https://doi.org/10.1080/02755947.2017.1317679

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