Mobility of individual roach Rutilus rutilus (L.) in three weir-fragmented Belgian rivers
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Adult roach Rutilus rutilus (L.) (N = 24; 19.9–36.1 cm FL) from three highly fragmented Belgian rivers were tagged with surgically implanted radio transmitters. Their seasonal movements were observed from March to August 2004 (circum reproduction period) in river stretches delimited by two physical barriers. In the three rivers, roach displayed similar patterns of movements which were mainly influenced by the date of observation (movements increased in late April–May) and water temperature (travel distances were more important when water temperature ranged between 10°C and 14°C). Roach sometimes cleared physical obstacles. The mean distances travelled in each river were relatively short (max. 2.5 km) and mainly influenced by the length of the study reach, which was delimited by physical barriers.
KeywordsRoach Migration Telemetry Barrier Fragmentation Seasonal movements
This study was part of the FISHGUARD project ‘Impact assessment and remediation of anthropogenic interventions on fish populations’ financed by the Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural Affairs. The authors wish to thank D. Hennebel, R. Baeyens, S. Martens, G. Rimbaud and Y. Neus for field support. We are grateful to P. Verschelde and M. Melsen for their assistance with the draft of the graphs, F. Coopman for drawing the maps and two anonymous referees for their critical comments. We also would like to thank J. Carr for reviewing and providing constructive comments.
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