Assessing the impact of hydropower and fisheries on downstream migrating silver eel, Anguilla anguilla, by telemetry in the River Meuse

H.V. Winter, H.M. Jansen, M.C.M. Bruijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

European eel Anguilla anguilla is in strong decline. We assessed the relative impact of fisheries and hydropower during the downstream migration of silver eel in the River Meuse in the Netherlands using radio-telemetry. For this, 16 fixed detection stations (Nedap Trail-System®) were used, each covering the entire river width, including all outlets to sea, and two covering the entrances of the two hydropower stations present. In September 2002, 150 silver eels were surgically implanted with Nedap-transponders and released at the catch site. Of these, 121 started to migrate downstream of which 37% successfully reached the North Sea. Hydropower mortality was at least 9% and assessed to be 16¿26%. Fisheries mortality was at least 16% (reported recaptures) and estimated to be 22¿26%. A clear difference was found in passage behaviour at hydropower stations, where 40% showed recurrence, in contrast to the river stations where this hardly occurred, indicating a hesitation to pass the turbines. Also a difference was found in diurnal pattern; 63% of the eels that passed through the turbines did so during the first 5 h of the night, whereas for the stations on free-flowing sections this was only 35%
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
JournalEcology of Freshwater Fish
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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