Event Title

Session D4: Improving the Efficacy of Yellow Eels' Upstream Movements Through Fish Lifts

Location

Groningen, The Netherlands

Event Website

http://fishpassage.umass.edu/

Start Date

23-6-2015 11:50 AM

End Date

23-6-2015 12:05 PM

Description

Abstract:

Fragmentation of the river continuum by high dams and subsequent reduction in upstream habitat availability has been cited as an important factor contributing to population decline of inland stocks of the European eel Anguilla anguilla. Due to their limited swimming capacity and elongated body shape, eels have typically some difficulty using traditional fishways because water velocities and turbulence limit their upstream movements. However, when it comes to use special fishways, such as fish lifts, the most cost-effective mitigation measures for passage across high dams, performance is often unknown. Upstream yellow eel passage was continuously monitored at the Touvedo fish lift (Lima River, northwest Portugal) by a combination of video-recording and electrofishing sampling during two annual sampling periods to analyze the effect of reduction of the free gap between the bars of the trapping cage on eel escapement: i) August 11 to September 12, the pretreatment phase when the free gap was 23 mm and ii) March 13 to February 14, the post-treatment phase when the free gap was reduced to 5 mm. Upon reduction of the free gap of the trapping cage, the number of lifted individuals increased more than threefold (1207 to 3852 individuals, Wilcoxon matchpaired test, Z=2.31, P=0.021), though the seasonality of movements (>98% occurring from mid-summer to early autumn) and the environmental triggers of migration (lunar illumination and accumulated rainfall) remained similar during both periods. Differences in population size–structure were also noted between the pre- and posttreatment phases (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Z=5.357, P< 0.001), with a significant higher proportion of smaller individuals found during the post-treatment. Reducing the free gap between retention bars of fish lifts may decrease escapement of small yellow eels, therefore expanding the use of such facilities for this and other smallsized species individuals.

Comments

Presenting Author Bio: José Maria Santos is a post-doctoral researcher at Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, Portugal. His research interests focus primarily on ecohydraulics, fish passes and freshwater fish ecology. His PhD (2004) was focused on the effects of flow regulations on fish population and communities and the role of different types of fish passes.

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Jun 23rd, 11:50 AM Jun 23rd, 12:05 PM

Session D4: Improving the Efficacy of Yellow Eels' Upstream Movements Through Fish Lifts

Groningen, The Netherlands

Abstract:

Fragmentation of the river continuum by high dams and subsequent reduction in upstream habitat availability has been cited as an important factor contributing to population decline of inland stocks of the European eel Anguilla anguilla. Due to their limited swimming capacity and elongated body shape, eels have typically some difficulty using traditional fishways because water velocities and turbulence limit their upstream movements. However, when it comes to use special fishways, such as fish lifts, the most cost-effective mitigation measures for passage across high dams, performance is often unknown. Upstream yellow eel passage was continuously monitored at the Touvedo fish lift (Lima River, northwest Portugal) by a combination of video-recording and electrofishing sampling during two annual sampling periods to analyze the effect of reduction of the free gap between the bars of the trapping cage on eel escapement: i) August 11 to September 12, the pretreatment phase when the free gap was 23 mm and ii) March 13 to February 14, the post-treatment phase when the free gap was reduced to 5 mm. Upon reduction of the free gap of the trapping cage, the number of lifted individuals increased more than threefold (1207 to 3852 individuals, Wilcoxon matchpaired test, Z=2.31, P=0.021), though the seasonality of movements (>98% occurring from mid-summer to early autumn) and the environmental triggers of migration (lunar illumination and accumulated rainfall) remained similar during both periods. Differences in population size–structure were also noted between the pre- and posttreatment phases (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Z=5.357, P< 0.001), with a significant higher proportion of smaller individuals found during the post-treatment. Reducing the free gap between retention bars of fish lifts may decrease escapement of small yellow eels, therefore expanding the use of such facilities for this and other smallsized species individuals.

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/fishpassage_conference/2015/June23/82