Swimming performance of the migratory Neotropical fish Leporinus reinhardti (Characiformes: Anostomidae)
swimming, swimming performance, fishways, salmonids, upstream, endurance, design, velocity tests, respirometer, fatigue
Journal or Book Title
The fishways built in Latin America were mainly based on those used in the northern hemisphere for passing salmonids upstream. However, the swimming capacity in terms of speed and endurance is a major factor concerning the design of a fishway, and this information is not available for migratory neotropical fish species. Therefore, studies on swimming performance of neotropical species is fundamental. The aim of this study was to estimate the critical, sustained and prolonged speeds for the piau–três–pintas Leporinus reinhardti, and to evaluate the influence of water temperature on the swimming performance of the species. Variable (increasing) and fixed velocity tests were performed in a respirometer. When compared to other species whose critical speed data are available, the piau showed higher speeds, for a given total length. Fatigue times per prolonged speed class were estimated as well as prolonged speed per fatigue time class. The changing point from sustained to prolonged swimming was estimated to occur approximately at a speed of seven body–lengths per second (1.12 m/s for an individual with 16 cm total length: the first maturation length). In spite of the great swimming performance of piau, the adoption of efficient directives in fishway projects to allow the passage of neotropical ichthyofauna, will depend on a more detailed analysis of the swimming capacity of different species.