Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) somatostatin (sSS; 4 or 8 ng/g body wt) or synthetic Gillichthys urotensin II (UII; 2 or 4 ng/g body wt) were injected intraperitoneally into juvenile freshwater coho salmon. Both sSS and UII caused a dose-dependent increase in plasma free fatty acids (FFA) which diminished with time. sSS induced an initial (1 hr) transient hyperglycemia. By contrast, UII tended to induce hypoglycemia, this effect being significant 5 hr after injection of the higher dose. Both sSS and UII depressed plasma insulin titers 1 hr after injection. By 3 hr, the sSS-associated insulin depression was no longer observed. UII treatment induced a hyperinsulinemia which was present 3 and 5 hr after peptide administration. Although no decreases in liver total lipid concentration or in mesenteric fat total tissue mass were observed, lipolytic enzyme activity within each depot was significantly enhanced by both peptides. Neither sSS nor UII altered 3H20 incorporation into fatty acids or neutral lipids. However, enhanced lipogenesis, particularly by UII, was indicated by increased NADPH production resulting from glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity. Both sSS and UII enhanced glucose mobilization, as indicated by decreased liver glycogen content and increased liver glucose-6-phosphatase activity. UII, but not sSS, stimulated glycogen synthetase activity. These results suggest that both sSS and UII stimulate hyperlipidemia by enhancing depot lipase activity and that although both factors are potentially gluconeogenetic, sSS seems to be glycogenolytic and hyperglycemic, whereas UII may channel glucose to FFA synthesis.