Reproduction, growth, and migration of fishes in a regulated lowland tributary: potential recruitment to the river Meuse

  • B. J. A. Pollux
  • P. M. J. Pollux
  • A. Korosi
  • W. C. E. P. Verberk
  • G. van der Velde
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 187)


Many European rivers are characterized by a canalized main channel, steep stony embankments, the absence of aquatic vegetation, regulated flow dynamics, reduced hydrological connectivity to the floodplains and a lack of spawning and nursery areas for many fish species. In such regulated rivers, tributaries may be particularly important for recruitment of fish populations in the main channel. This paper describes the reproduction, growth and migration of fishes in the Everlose Beek, a regulated lowland tributary stream of the river Meuse (The Netherlands), using bi-weekly sampling from January to December 2002. A total of 8615 fishes were caught, belonging to 13 different species. The fish species were classified into three groups, viz., residents, migrants and transients, based on the presence of various life-stages in the tributary. Size-frequency data suggest that each group uses the Everlose Beek differently: (i) Stone loach (Barbatula barbatula), Gudgeon (Gobio gobio) and Three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) were resident species using the tributary as a spawning, nursery and adult habitat; (ii) Bream (Abramis brama), Roach (Rutilus rutilus), Rudd (R. erythrophthalmus), Tench (Tinca tinca), and Pike (Esox lucius) were migratory species, using the tributary as a spawning area, as well as a nursery habitat during their first year of growth, but migrating towards the river Meuse typically at a length of 5–15 cm; and (iii) Bleak (Alburnus alburnus), Sunbleak (Leucaspius delineatus), Carp (Cyprinus carpio), Crucian carp (Carassius carassius), and Perch (Perca fluviatilis) were transient species, characterized by an absence of reproduction, and the occurrence in very low densities of >age-1 juveniles and adults only. Lowland tributaries, such as the Everlose Beek, can contribute to the recruitment of particularly migrant species, hence contributing to fish populations of the regulated river Meuse.

Key words

larvae juveniles migration nursery residents transients 


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Copyright information

© Springer2006 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. A. Pollux
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. M. J. Pollux
    • 2
  • A. Korosi
    • 3
  • W. C. E. P. Verberk
    • 4
    • 5
  • G. van der Velde
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Plant-Animal Interaction, Centre for LimnologyNetherlands Institute of EcologyMaarssenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Aquatic Ecology & Environmental BiologyInstitute for Wetland and Water Research,RadboudUniversity NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Cellular Animal PhysiologyRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Bargerveen FoundationNijmegenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Animal Ecology & EcophysiologyInstitute for Wetland and Water Research, Radboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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