Fisheries Science

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 163–172 | Cite as

Upstream migration mechanisms of juvenile temperate sea bass Lateolabrax japonicus in the stratified Yura River estuary

Special Feature: Original Article Coastal Ecosystem Complex (CEC)


Hydrographic conditions and distributions of juvenile temperate sea bass Lateolabrax japonicus were observed in early spring from 2009 to 2012 in the Yura River estuary, which is highly stratified due to its small tides and consequent seawater intrusion into the bottom layer of the river as a salt wedge. In all four studied years, the upstream expansion of their distribution coincided with the timing of the salt wedge intrusion from the lower to upper estuary, indicating that juvenile fish used salt wedge intrusions to ascend the estuary in early spring. However, juveniles sometimes remained in the nearshore area even when the salt wedge intrusion had already occurred, indicating that other triggers are also likely to be necessary. We therefore evaluated the effects of temperature on upstream migration behaviors. The relationship between the mean temperature they experienced from hatch until starting the ascent and mean age of each cohort at the upstream migration fitted with the law of effective cumulative temperature. Most cohorts ascended the river at an effective cumulative temperature of approximately 500 °C–days. This suggests that higher temperatures would lead to a shorter period prior to the upstream migration.


Salt wedge intrusion River ascending Catadromous migration Juvenile 



We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Masahiro Ueno for his creative comments and help with samplings. This study was partly supported by the Coastal Ecosystem Complex Project of the Ocean Resource Use Promotion Technology Development Program, MEXT of Japan.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyoto University, Graduate School of AgricultureKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Kyoto University, Field Science Education and Research CenterKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Kyoto University, Field Science Education and Research CenterMaizuruJapan
  4. 4.Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education AgencyHachinoheJapan
  5. 5.Faculty of Fisheries SciencesHokkaido UniversityHakodateJapan

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