Swimming capabilities and in situ measurement of muscle activity
from adult Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) at two seasonal temperatures were measured using radio transmitted electromyogram (EMG) signals. Forced sustained levels of activity and critical swimming speeds were determined and correlated to radio transmitted EMG signals using a modified Blazka swim speed chamber. There were no differences in swimming performance levels between tagged and untagged individuals. At 18 °C, sustained activity and critical swimming speeds were approximately 70% and 20% higher than at 12 °C, respectively. No differences in
burst activity were observed at these temperatures. EMGs recorded from salmon during ascent of an artificial flume at cold temperatures revealed that overall muscle activity is greater than that observed for critical swimming speeds. This implies that white muscle may be recruited at this
temperature. However, in contrast, most activity at 18 °C is below that observed during critical swimming speed. Moreover, salmon required almost twice as long to traverse the flume at 18 °C than at 12 °C. Together, our data demonstrates that salmon may recruit white muscle fibres and incur an oxygen debt at colder temperature as a strategy for ascending velocity obstructions at a quicker rate.