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European silver eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) migration behaviour in a highly regulated shipping canal
Verhelst, P.; Baeyens, R.; Reubens, J.; Benitez, J.-P.; Coeck, J.; Goethals, P.L.M.; Ovidio, M.; Vergeynst, J.; Moens, T.; Mouton, A.M. (2018). European silver eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) migration behaviour in a highly regulated shipping canal. Fish. Res. 206: 176-184. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.fishres.2018.05.013
In: Fisheries Research. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0165-7836, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Diadromous; Canal; Migration; Water regulation; Shipping locks

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Abstract
    Among the many man-made structures that facilitate shipping, navigable canals take an important position. These canals may offer energetically favourable migration routes for diadromous fish, but they may also obstruct fish migration, for instance at shipping locks. Because the use of shipping canals by, and their effects on, migrating fish remain unknown, we assessed whether these canals can play a significant role in the migration of the critically endangered European eel. Only one third of 70 acoustically tagged silver eels completed migration through a shipping canal, and did so at a very low pace (average <0.06 m s-1) due to delays at shipping locks and most likely also due to the disruption of water flow. These delays may come at an energetic cost, hampering the chances of successful migration. Knowledge on the impact of shipping canals on diadromous fish is crucial for proper management regulations. For instance, the observation that eels mostly migrated at night and during spring and autumn can support water managers to define adequate measures to improve eel migration in shipping canals.

Datasets (3)
  • 2015_Albertkanaal_VPS_Ham: VPS receiver network on the Albert Canal, Kwaadmechelen, more
  • 2016_Albertkanaal_VPS_Ham: VPS receiver network on the Albert Canal, Kwaadmechelen, more
  • 2017_Albertkanaal_VPS_Ham: VPS receiver network on the Albert Canal, Kwaadmechelen, more

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