Electromyographic recordings show that, for adult brown trout swum up to their critical swimming speed (Ucrit) in a flume at neutral pH, white muscle recruitment occurred when speeds approached 1 body length s-1 (BL s-1) and continued to Ucrit (approximately 2 BL s-1) at both winter (5 °C) and summer (15 °C) acclimation temperatures. However, in the majority of fish swum up to Ucrit at sublethal acidic pH, continuous white muscle recruitment did not occur, although all swam above 1 BL s-1. Any observed electrical activity of the white muscle in these individuals was, at best, intermittent. Consequently, the mean Ucrit of these fish was approximately half that of fish swum at neutral pH. In all fish at sublethal pH, red muscle activity was observed for the whole duration of the exercise period, showing that swimming speeds greater than 1 BL s-1 were achieved largely aerobically. Fish that were chased around a tank at sublethal pH appeared lethargic in their escape response, exhibiting little or no burst swimming. Other observed effects of exposure to sublethal pH, which may have affected swimming capacity, included increases in the resting levels of blood and muscle ammonia, reduced muscle glycogen stores and reduced muscle ion concentrations.

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