Lactate and phosphocreatine concentrations were monitored in the white muscle of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss following swimming at 70, 80 and 100 % of critical swimming speed (Ucrit) using 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Lactate was detected following swimming at all speeds, but its concentration was greatest following swimming at 80 and 100 %Ucrit. Phosphocreatine stores were reduced following swimming at 70 and 80 %Ucrit, but were further depleted following swimming at 100 %Ucrit. Following swimming at 70 and 80 %Ucrit, lactate concentrations were higher in the rostral, relative to the caudal, musculature, whereas phosphocreatine stores were least depleted in the mid, relative to the rostral and caudal, musculature. There were no differences among muscle locations in concentrations of lactate and phosphocreatine following swimming to 100 %Ucrit. Our results indicate that anaerobic metabolism is required to support swimming at speeds equal to and greater than 70 %Ucrit. Estimates of the relative cost of anaerobic metabolism during sub-maximal swimming are presented for swimming at 70 %, 80 % and 100 %Ucrit, and the implications of these results to energy budgets are discussed.

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