Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 102, Issue 10, pp 1311–1325 | Cite as

Downstream migration and mortality of larval Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis) on the Sanriku coast, northern Japan

  • Masayoshi Hata
  • Tsuguo OtakeEmail author


The ecology and mortality of larval ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis) during downstream migration was investigated during three spawning seasons (2008–2010) in the Unosumai River, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. Downstream larval migration occurred from early September to mid-December, peaking from late September to mid-October. Larval drift numbers recorded at the lowest reach spawning ground peaked from 18:00–21:00, twenty-four-hour-surveys in 2008 and 2010 resulting in total daily numbers of drifting larvae of 2,855,660 and 785,880, respectively, with 88.1 and 88.7%, respectively, occurring between 17:00–24:00. A twenty-four-hour-survey at the river mouth in 2010 recorded larvae between 19:00–06:00 (following day), peaking at 21:00 (67.5% of larvae occurred between 21:00–23:00), approximately 2 h later than the peak at the lowest reach spawning ground. The river mouth survey estimated a total larval number of 113,724, corresponding to 14.5% of the number recorded from the lowest reach spawning ground on the same day, indicating a mortality rate of 85.5%.


Ayu Downstream migration Larval mortality 



We wish to express appreciation to Y. Amano, M. Kurosawa and M. Hirano of International Coastal Research Center of Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, and R. Iitake and J. Yabuki of Kitasato University, for their help with the field survey. We also thank G. Hardy for helping to improve the manuscript. The comments of two anonymous reviewers were greatly appreciated. This study was partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers 21380122 and 24380105 to TO. This study followed the animal experiment use guidelines of The University of Tokyo.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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