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Downstream migration of European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) in an anthropogenically regulated freshwater system : implications for management

(2018) FISHERIES RESEARCH. 199. p.252-262
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Abstract
Connectivity between freshwater habitats and marine areas is heavily obstructed by anthropogenic structures (e.g. weirs, pumping stations, sluices...), leading to a high pressure on diadromous fish populations. A better understanding of fish migration behaviour in relation to these barriers is needed to take proper mitigation actions. We investigated the impact of migration barriers on downstream migrating European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) by tracking 50 acoustically tagged eels between July 2012 and March 2015 in a Belgian polder area. The study area was selected due to the presence of a wide range of migration barriers, such as two pumping stations, a weir and tidal sluices. These structures regulate the water level, resulting in discontinuous flow conditions. The results showed that migration was primarily nocturnal and discharge appeared to be the main trigger for migration in the polder. We also observed substantial delays and exploratory behaviour near barriers. Delays can have a serious impact on eels since their energy resources are limited for a successful trans-Atlantic migration. In addition, delays and exploratory behaviour can also increase predation and disease risk. The obtained knowledge can contribute to efficient management such as improved fish passage and guidance solutions.
Keywords
European eel, Migration, Freshwater, Estuary, Telemetry, Migration barriers, ADULT CHINOOK SALMON, SILVER EELS, AMERICAN EELS, ESTUARINE MIGRATION, ACOUSTIC TELEMETRY, RANDOM FORESTS, RIVER DAMS, MOVEMENTS, BEHAVIOR, MORTALITY

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Chicago
Verhelst, Pieterjan, David Buysse, Jan Reubens, Ine Pauwels, Bart Aelterman, Stijn Van Hoey, Peter Goethals, Johan Coeck, Tom Moens, and Ans Mouton. 2018. “Downstream Migration of European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla L.) in an Anthropogenically Regulated Freshwater System : Implications for Management.” Fisheries Research 199: 252–262.
APA
Verhelst, Pieterjan, Buysse, D., Reubens, J., Pauwels, I., Aelterman, B., Van Hoey, S., Goethals, P., et al. (2018). Downstream migration of European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) in an anthropogenically regulated freshwater system : implications for management. FISHERIES RESEARCH, 199, 252–262.
Vancouver
1.
Verhelst P, Buysse D, Reubens J, Pauwels I, Aelterman B, Van Hoey S, et al. Downstream migration of European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) in an anthropogenically regulated freshwater system : implications for management. FISHERIES RESEARCH. 2018;199:252–62.
MLA
Verhelst, Pieterjan, David Buysse, Jan Reubens, et al. “Downstream Migration of European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla L.) in an Anthropogenically Regulated Freshwater System : Implications for Management.” FISHERIES RESEARCH 199 (2018): 252–262. Print.
@article{8537744,
  abstract     = {Connectivity between freshwater habitats and marine areas is heavily obstructed by anthropogenic structures (e.g. weirs, pumping stations, sluices...), leading to a high pressure on diadromous fish populations. A better understanding of fish migration behaviour in relation to these barriers is needed to take proper mitigation actions. We investigated the impact of migration barriers on downstream migrating European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) by tracking 50 acoustically tagged eels between July 2012 and March 2015 in a Belgian polder area. The study area was selected due to the presence of a wide range of migration barriers, such as two pumping stations, a weir and tidal sluices. These structures regulate the water level, resulting in discontinuous flow conditions. The results showed that migration was primarily nocturnal and discharge appeared to be the main trigger for migration in the polder. We also observed substantial delays and exploratory behaviour near barriers. Delays can have a serious impact on eels since their energy resources are limited for a successful trans-Atlantic migration. In addition, delays and exploratory behaviour can also increase predation and disease risk. The obtained knowledge can contribute to efficient management such as improved fish passage and guidance solutions.},
  author       = {Verhelst, Pieterjan and Buysse, David and Reubens, Jan and Pauwels, Ine and Aelterman, Bart and Van Hoey, Stijn and Goethals, Peter and Coeck, Johan and Moens, Tom and Mouton, Ans},
  issn         = {0165-7836},
  journal      = {FISHERIES RESEARCH},
  keyword      = {European eel,Migration,Freshwater,Estuary,Telemetry,Migration barriers,ADULT CHINOOK SALMON,SILVER EELS,AMERICAN EELS,ESTUARINE MIGRATION,ACOUSTIC TELEMETRY,RANDOM FORESTS,RIVER DAMS,MOVEMENTS,BEHAVIOR,MORTALITY},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {252--262},
  title        = {Downstream migration of European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) in an anthropogenically regulated freshwater system : implications for management},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2017.10.018},
  volume       = {199},
  year         = {2018},
}

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