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Concurrent Sessions B: Integrating Fish Physiology or Behavior With Passage - A Predictive Model of Swimming Performance for Small-Bodied Fishes

Abstract
Designing fishways for small-bodied native fishes is challenging because swimming performance data are essential for proper design, but it is not practical to test the abilities of the dozens of different species that may be present in a single system. This study was designed to determine whether a predictive model of swimming performance could be developed using easily-measured morphological and physiological characteristics as predictor variables. Aerobic and anaerobic swimming ability were determined with constant acceleration tests, and a combination of morphological measures (total length, shape metrics from a landmark analysis) and physiological measures (hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration, and percent red and white muscle at 50% and 75% of total length) were used as predictors. A total of 14 species from 7 families were tested. Mean aerobic swimming capacity varied from 30 cm/s (brook stickleback, Culea inconstans) to 61 cm/s (flathead chub, Platygobio gracilis), and mean anaerobic swimming capacity varied from 64 cm/s (Johnny darter, Etheostoma nigrum) to 114 cm/s (flathead chub). Swimming capacity in small-bodied fishes is influenced by size, morphology, and physiology, and the ability to model this will be useful in creating fishway design criteria when species-specific swimming performance data are not available.
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2013-06-26
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