1. Although fresh-run lamperns are able to withstand the effects of increasing sea-water concentration better than maturing animals, they can only maintain their plasma chloride constant in environments more dilute than 50% sea water. This is achieved, in part, by gradually reducing the urine output from the normal fresh-water level (155.8 ml./kg./day) to a negligible rate in solutions which are mildly hypertonic to the blood (33% sea water).
2. Studies on the rate of change of weight loss, of plasma chloride and of plasma osmotic pressure following abrupt immersion in dilute sea water show that mature lamperns cannot osmoregulate and can only survive in 33% sea water by tolerating a raised blood osmotic pressure caused by water loss.
3. Similar experiments on fresh-run animals suggest that the external surfaces of their bodies are less permeable to water than mature animals. Unlike mature animals, they also show considerable variation in the way in which they respond to 33% sea water. Some are able to maintain their plasma osmotic pressure and chloride well below that of the environment. These animals also show little loss in weight, and this indicates that water is taken up actively, since this process has been shown to occur in some animals. Other fresh-run animals show raised plasma osmotic pressures in varying degrees and these are associated with larger losses of weight. These facts suggest that the hypotonic regulating mechanism gradually degenerates as the lampern enters fresh water.