Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 102, Issue 12, pp 1435–1456 | Cite as

Post-release behaviors and movements of cultured and wild Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica) in a shallow brackish water lagoon in northeastern Japan

  • Takuji NodaEmail author
  • Toshihiro Wada
  • Takashi Iwasaki
  • Tatsuma Sato
  • Kaoru Narita
  • Ikuo Matsumoto
  • Tomoya Hori
  • Hiromichi Mitamura
  • Nobuaki Arai


A total of 30 cultured [610.6 ± 24.0 mm total length (TL)] and six wild Japanese eels Anguilla japonica collected on site (622.2 ± 133.1 mm TL) were tagged with acoustic transmitters and released into a shallow brackish water lagoon in northeastern Japan in June 2014 and July–October 2014, respectively; their post-release movements in the entire lagoon were monitored by acoustic receivers. We found that the cultured and wild eels had some common features, such as nocturnal activity and the exploitation of a wide range of brackish environments and occasionally river excursions at night from the lagoon. However, the total periods of detection and seaward movement behaviors differed between the cultured and wild eels, with 26 cultured eels no longer being detected within 6 months, whereas four wild eels were detected for >6 months. In total, 12 cultured eels moved into the outer ocean (potentially seaward migration) in October after typhoons passed and in November after the water temperature decreased (13.8 ± 1.2 °C), as opposed to the wild eels. While the contribution of the cultured eels to reproduction after the seaward movement remains unknown, these findings showed that they remained in the lagoon only for a limited time.


Telemetry Seaward migration Anguilla japonica Cultured eel Estuaries 



We are grateful to all staff of the former Soma Branch of the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station for their help with field surveys. This study was mainly supported by a grant from the Fisheries Agency of Japan, Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows Japan 16 J05814 to TN, and JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP 25712022 to HM. All experimental procedures using animals were approved by the Animal Research Committee of Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan (protocol number: Informatics Inf-K14003).

Supplementary material

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of InformaticsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental RadioactivityFukushima UniversityFukushimaJapan
  3. 3.Fishery Division of the Fukushima Prefectural GovernmentFukushimaJapan
  4. 4.Fukushima Prefectural Inland Water Fisheries Experimental StationFukushimaJapan
  5. 5.Fishery Office of the Fukushima Prefectural GovernmentFukushimaJapan
  6. 6.CRESTJapan Science and Technology AgencySaitamaJapan
  7. 7.Field Science and Education and Research CenterKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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