References of "Benitez, Jean-Philippe"
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See detailThe influence of environmental factors on the upstream movements of rheophilic cyprinids according to their position in a river basin
Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Ovidio, Michaël ULiege

in Ecology of Freshwater Fish (2017)

Throughout their lives, fish accomplish frequent movements between functional habitats that are often triggered by environmental signals. We aimed to determine if rheophilic cyprinids (barbel, Barbus ... [more ▼]

Throughout their lives, fish accomplish frequent movements between functional habitats that are often triggered by environmental signals. We aimed to determine if rheophilic cyprinids (barbel, Barbus barbus and chub Squalius cephalus), living in different places of the same river basin, may develop similar movement periodicities and react identically to environmental cues to carry out their spawning migration. We used the capture data of three modern fish passes that were monitored continuously during three consecutive years (2010 to 2012) in three rivers of the Meuse basin in Belgium. We captured 418 individuals at adult stage, and the capture number per species was greater (80%) in spring (during the spawning migration period). The spawning migration of the barbel occurred earlier (median = 122nd day of the year) and at lower temperatures (median = 14.5°C) in the lowland rivers compared to the upland river (140th day of the year and 18.4°C). For the barbel, migration initiation differed depending on the river but finished under similar environmental conditions. In contrast, for the chub, no significant difference between rivers was observed regarding spawning migration periodicity and environmental cues. Within the same river basin, rheophilic cyprinids demonstrate flexibility in their responses to environmental variables and may optimise the start date of migration to spawning grounds depending on their local environment and individual experiences. This phenomenon was more pronounced in the barbel, which has more specific ecological requirements. [less ▲]

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See detailThe use of behavioural metrics to evaluate fishway efficiency
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Sonny, Damien; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

in River Research & Applications (2017), 33(9), 1484-1493

Fishways are installed worldwide to facilitate accessibility to functional habitats and to increase the ecological continuity of rivers. Their evaluations are increasing, but complete studies in the field ... [more ▼]

Fishways are installed worldwide to facilitate accessibility to functional habitats and to increase the ecological continuity of rivers. Their evaluations are increasing, but complete studies in the field with wild individuals are still scarce. In the lower Bocq River (Belgium), a pool type fishway was installed in 2011. A combined passive‐integrated‐transponder‐tag and radio‐telemetry system was designed and installed downstream of the dam and in the fishway to analyse fine‐scale individual fish behaviour. Three fish species (brown trout, European grayling, and barbel) were captured in the river; n = 125 fish were tagged and released downstream of the fishway. Behavioural metrics were proposed and used in order to attain a comprehensive view on the efficiency of the fishway, including attraction and entrance efficiency, searching and passage delays, and overall and adjusted passage efficiency. The results indicate a major problem in terms of attraction efficiency (48.9% for the trout, 20.5% for the grayling, and 41.2% for the barbel) and time to find the entrance of the fishway (mean 65.1 hr for the trout and 538.9 r for the grayling). For fish that succeed to approach the entrance of the fishway, the passage efficiency was 86.9% for the trout, 55.5% for the grayling, and 7.1% for the barbel. The time taken to cross the structure was reasonable for the salmonids (mean < 1.5 hr for trout and grayling) but very long (21 hr) for the barbel. Our results underline the necessity of a holistic approach to evaluate fishway efficiency using precise comprehensive metrics and hydraulic characterization. [less ▲]

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See detailA field quantification of all inclusive fish-pass efficiency using a combined telemetry system
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Sonny, Damien; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

Conference (2017, July)

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See detailEuropean silver eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) migration behaviour in a highly regulated shipping canal
Verhelst, Pieterjan; Baeyens, Raf; Buysse, David et al

Conference (2017, June)

Over the last 40 years, Anguilla species in the northern hemisphere have shown a strong decline in recruitment. Due to a 98% recruitment decline, the European eel is now classified as critically ... [more ▼]

Over the last 40 years, Anguilla species in the northern hemisphere have shown a strong decline in recruitment. Due to a 98% recruitment decline, the European eel is now classified as critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List. To aid conservation and recovery of European eel populations, the European Union recently adopted a Council Regulation which imposes a management system that ensures 40% escapement of the spawning stock biomass, defined as the best estimate of the theoretical escapement rate if the stock were completely free of anthropogenic influences. Various causes likely contribute to the eel decline (e.g. pollution, human-introduced parasites, changes in ocean climate, habitat deterioration…), but habitat fragmentation by migration barriers that prevent the movement of silver eels between freshwater and the sea is probably one of the most important bottlenecks. During the last decades, a substantial number of canals has been developed, creating new habitat for eels. However, eel migration and potential obstacles in these systems are still underexplored. In this study, we tracked 131 European eels (Anguilla anguilla L.) from October 2014 till March 2017 in the Belgian Albert Canal with acoustic telemetry. The 130-km long canal is on average 86 m wide, 5 m deep and functions as a shipping route between the rivers Schelde and Meuse. The canal has a highly regulated water flow and six shipping locks to overcome the 56-m fall, which may have a negative impact on silver eel escapement. Indeed, we found significant delays (i.e. periods with a significantly prolonged residence time) and a ca 50% lower swimming speed near shipping locks compared to riverine conditions. Depending on nothing but their accumulated fat for migration to their spawning grounds, delays can seriously impact eels by wasting precious energy resources needed for a successful trans-Atlantic migration. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term monitoring of European eels in the Belgian Meuse River basin. From the historical drastic decline to recent outcomes of restocking practices.
Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege et al

Conference (2017, June)

Long-term monitoring of yellow- and glass eel stages were performed in upland areas (>300km from sea) in order (i) to quantify the decline of wild yellow eels entering in the Belgian Meuse from the ... [more ▼]

Long-term monitoring of yellow- and glass eel stages were performed in upland areas (>300km from sea) in order (i) to quantify the decline of wild yellow eels entering in the Belgian Meuse from the Netherlands; (ii) to follow their upstream individual colonization; and (iii) to analyze the adaptation of young eels stocked as glass eels imported from UK. By monitoring a fish pass from 1992 to 2016, we quantified that the number of ascending eels has declined from n=5613 in 1992 to n=21 in 2016 (3.99%/year) and the mean length of eels has increased (4.1mm/year). During 6-years, upstream individual colonization of eels (2010-2015, n=1371) was followed using fixed RFIDtracking system. Few eels continued to migrate 4 years after tagging (<0.3%) and at >20km upstream (3.7%); and velocity of eels varied between individuals (0.012- 3.1km/day). In a 4-year (2013-2016) monitoring study of restocked glass eels using electrofishing and mobile RFID-tracking campaigns, we observed that eels grew rapidly in upland small brooks and recruitment was better in rivers with high carrying capacity (>15.8%, 2years post-stocking). Restocked eels dispersed in up- and downstream directions with behaviors including sedentary, nomadic and intermediate lifestyles. This suggests stocking as potential management measure to enhance local eel stocks. [less ▲]

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See detailPoor Performance of a Retrofitted Downstream Bypass Revealed by the Analysis of Approaching Behaviour in Combination with a Trapping System
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Bunel, Sarah et al

in River Research & Applications (2017), 33

The implementation of fish downstream migration bypass systems is still a major challenge, and there is interest in validating the adequacy of different configurations of bypass devices. In the Amblève ... [more ▼]

The implementation of fish downstream migration bypass systems is still a major challenge, and there is interest in validating the adequacy of different configurations of bypass devices. In the Amblève River (Belgium), a mobile 3.3-m height dam feeds two principal Francis and one Francis micro-turbine and is equipped with a modern vertical slot fish pass and a downstream bypass. The aim of this study was to test the bypass attraction and efficiency (i.e. percentage of fish that approach the entrance and use the bypass) for Atlantic salmon smolts. During three consecutive years, a total of 1346 smolts were equipped with a radio frequency identification tag and released from March to May upstream of the dam of Lorcé. The entrance of the downstream migration bypass was equipped with a radio frequency identification antenna in order to detect the smolts approaching. In 2014, a capture cage was also placed downstream the bypass to evaluate its efficiency. The mean percentage of detected smolts at the entrance varied from 26.2 to 39.7%. In 2014, 16.5% of the released smolts entered the bypass and were finally caught in the cage, representing 39% of the smolts detected at the entrance. More than 98% of the detections occurred during night (mainly between 9 PM and 3 AM). The searching delay near the bypass entrance varied from less than 5 min to more than 5 days (median 4.3 min). Visual observation indicated a behavioural reluctance before entering the bypass, with a shift from positive to negative rheotaxy. Our results underline the difficulty to install retrofitted bypass system on old existing hydropower plants. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the entering stock, migration dynamics and fish pass fidelity of european eel in the belgian meuse river
Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

in River Research & Applications (2017), 33

Migration dynamics of incoming eels in Belgium via Lixhe in the Meuse River were investigated using two fish passes with different configurations— net traps and automatic detection stations—as tools to ... [more ▼]

Migration dynamics of incoming eels in Belgium via Lixhe in the Meuse River were investigated using two fish passes with different configurations— net traps and automatic detection stations—as tools to distinguish resident and migrating eels. From April to September 2013, 435 eels (P50 length, 403 mm; range, 196–836 mm) were caught (daily maxima catch, 90 eels per day), 90% between 13 June and 1 August (50 days) and P50 on 19 July. Eels migrated mostly at 19–26 °C (P50, 24.4 °C), river discharge 65–314m3 s 1 (P50, 84m3 s 1), during the dark at 00:00–05:00 h and during both the waxing and waning phases of moonlight. From 396 eels tagged and released 0.3 km downstream of the Lixhe dam, 6.8% of them were recaptured, and 37.4% were detected. Migration flux was estimated at 7184 eels (0.863 t) using the markrecapture method and decreased to 1156 eels (0.139 t) using automatic transponder detection. Most eels probably migrated through a sluice located downstream of Lixhe to reach the upper Meuse via the Albert Canal. Eels moved almost independently to the configuration of the fish passes and their location, but most eels displayed fidelity to the fish pass where they were captured. Migrant eels showed a wide range of size and life stages, with a higher proportion of eels (80%) belonging to the yellow eel stage. A lower proportion of eels (6%) had a larger size and presented an advanced continental silvering process corresponding to the migrating stage before their transatlantic migration. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailConvention relative à la réhabilitation du Saumon atlantique dans le bassin de la Meuse (Rapport 2015-2016)
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege et al

Report (2016)

Le présent rapport d’activités intègre les travaux des deux équipes universitaires de Liège et de Namur (coordination Ulg – Dr M. Ovidio) dans la cadre de la subvention relative à la réhabilitation du ... [more ▼]

Le présent rapport d’activités intègre les travaux des deux équipes universitaires de Liège et de Namur (coordination Ulg – Dr M. Ovidio) dans la cadre de la subvention relative à la réhabilitation du saumon atlantique dans le bassin de la Meuse. [less ▲]

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See detailIs adult translocation a credible way to accelerate the recolonization process of Chondrostoma nasus in a rehabilitated river?
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Hanzen, Céline; Gennotte, Vincent ULiege et al

in Cybium (2016), 40(1), 43-49

The decline of the patrimonial rheophilic nase, Chondrostoma nasus (Linnaeus, 1758) populations was mainly caused by construction of dams and hydroelectric power-plants, together with the straightening ... [more ▼]

The decline of the patrimonial rheophilic nase, Chondrostoma nasus (Linnaeus, 1758) populations was mainly caused by construction of dams and hydroelectric power-plants, together with the straightening and artificialization of the river banks and water pollution. In this study, we tested the hypothesis whether the translocation of few adult nase individuals from a river stretch to another upstream may be a credible way to accelerate the recolonization process of the species in the Amblève River (Southern Belgium). In February and March 2011, just before their spawning period, eight adult nases (462-509 mm; 1546-2002 g; presumed males and females) were captured in the lower part of the River Amblève. Fin clip samples were stored in alcohol for further genetic analysis. They were equipped with a 14 g radio transmitter and translocated upstream in a 18 km river stretch, where the species had disappeared since decades due to river anthropization. They were manually located two to five times/week using mobile receivers until maximum June 2012 (n = 977 locations). River temperature and flow were hourly recorded during the entire tracking period. The tagged nase individuals displayed various mobility patterns, exploited different areas of the river stretch, occupied longitudinal home ranges from 3.4 to 36.1 km (one individual finally left the new river stretch) and travelled total distances from 12.2 to 186.6 km. The tagged individuals were most of the times apart from one to another, but most individuals grouped together in potential spawning areas in late March-early April 2011, suggesting an attempt to reproduce. In September 2011, electric fishing in two potential detected spawning sites allowed to capture 16 juvenile (0+) nases, demonstrating the existence of spawning activity in the newly occupied river stretch. Individual genetic characterization was performed in 2014 in order to reveal a possible direct lineage between juveniles and adults. Allelic distribution of 22 microsatellite markers unambiguously identified the 16 juveniles as full-sib progeny descending from two of the translocated adults. This demonstrated that the adult nases succeeded to find spawning areas and that progeny found raised-up from the translocated individuals. [less ▲]

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See detailAn overview of potamodromous fish upstream movements in medium-sized rivers, by means of fish passes monitoring
Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

in Aquatic Ecology (2015), 49(4), 481-497

This study aims to investigate the upstream movement patterns of potamodromous fish species using multi-annual monitoring of modern multi-species fish passes in two medium-sized Belgian rivers: the ... [more ▼]

This study aims to investigate the upstream movement patterns of potamodromous fish species using multi-annual monitoring of modern multi-species fish passes in two medium-sized Belgian rivers: the Berwinne and the Amble`ve. During a 6-year monitoring period including a frequency of 1–5 times per week, the captured individuals were identified, measured and weighed to determine species abundance, and the periodicity of their seasonal movement patterns was investigated in relation to environmental factors. In the Amble`ve, 22 different fish species were monitored (n = 1513 individuals; biomass of 154 kg) and 14 species in the Berwinne (n = 3720; 408 kg). In both fish passes, inter-annual differences were observed, but the first year of monitoring was the best in terms of biomass, indicating the existence of an opening effect just after the fish passes opening, which allowed new migration routes. Salmonids and rheophilic cyprinids were predominant in terms of biomass, while minnow and spirlin were predominant in terms of number of fishes. The diversity in sizeranged from 46 to 760 mm demonstrating the importance of movements in various life stages. The capture periodicity showed different mobility patterns between the adult and juvenile stages in most species. Movements occurred frequently during the circus reproduction period for some species, but many species moved also apart from spawning period. This study highlights the omnipresence of patrimonial holobiotic potamodromous fish at different life stages that reflect their biological needs to move throughout the annual cycle. They must be considered as target species in river continuity restoration programmes and fish-pass design. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation de la qualité biologique des rivières wallonnes sur base des indices biologiques poissons. Support technique aux inventaires 2015.
Rimbaud, Gilles ULiege; Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

Report (2015)

L’Université de Liège (LDPH) a effectué le travail décrit dans ce rapport pour le compte du Service public de Wallonie qui a financé ce projet dans le cadre d’une convention ayant pour objectif ... [more ▼]

L’Université de Liège (LDPH) a effectué le travail décrit dans ce rapport pour le compte du Service public de Wallonie qui a financé ce projet dans le cadre d’une convention ayant pour objectif l’évaluation de la qualité biologique des eaux de surface basée sur les indices biologiques « poissons » dans quatorze cours d’eau de Wallonie. Cette mission s’inscrit dans le contexte de la mise en oeuvre de la Directive 2000/60/CE établissant un cadre pour une politique communautaire dans le domaine de l’eau. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la diversité génétique et de l’état des stocks des populations de barbeaux et de hotus en Wallonie. Amélioration des techniques d’élevage en vue de repeuplements raisonnés et de transferts de connaissances vers les pisciculteurs
Gennotte, Vincent ULiege; Prignon, Christian ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

Report (2015)

Nase (Chondrostoma nasus) and common barbel (Barbus barbus) are two rheophilic cyprinid fish naturally present in South Belgian rivers. During the last decades, the construction of dams together with ... [more ▼]

Nase (Chondrostoma nasus) and common barbel (Barbus barbus) are two rheophilic cyprinid fish naturally present in South Belgian rivers. During the last decades, the construction of dams together with changes in hydrological regimes, modifications of riverbed morphology and water pollution caused some local dramatic declines in their populations. However, recent improvements in terms of water quality and habitat fragmentation allow now to implement a rational restocking plan of locally endangered patrimonial fish species such as nase and common barbel. To reach this goal, this project (co-funded by the European Fisheries Fund and the Wallonia Public Service) proposed to develop five complementary parts with specific objectives: • Review of the knowledge on nase and barbel geographical distribution and stock health in Wallonia. This section presents the distribution and recent evolution of populations in Europe, and more specifically in Wallonia. Areas where population declines were reported are identified. Even if a weak population expansion was reported in some isolated cases, the global status of Walloon populations is still concerning. • Characterization of genetic structure and diversity of South Belgium populations. Restocking operations for a conservation purpose have to be based on the knowledge and the use of wild type genetic strains. Nase and barbel populations from South Belgium were genetically characterized by use of microsatellites. Globally, nase and barbel populations are structured on a basin scale. A slight genetic differentiation exists between populations from the Rhine basin and the Meuse basin, defining two conservation units, but no finer structure was observed among populations from the Meuse basin. Genetic variation was high within populations. Genetic structure of barbel populations is more complex due to past restocking operations with different genetic lineages. An analysis of mDNA identified 6 different haplotypes but was unable to categorize them as autochtone or allochtone. • Development of fish production techniques. The complete control of fish farming is necessary to produce high quality juveniles for restocking. All the steps of the production cycle were addressed: broodstock management and reproduction, egg incubation, larval rearing and grow-out. Production systems ranging from extensive pond culture to intensive RAS were tested and the optimal farming conditions were identified (temperature, density, feeding, tank volumes, …). • Adaptation assessment of farmed fingerlings to natural conditions. Growth and survival performances of captive farmed fish were assessed in an experimental environment that mimics natural conditions. The results suggested that the more efficient practice for restocking would be based on operations performed in spring with large juveniles (3 to 50 g). • Know-how diffusion toward fish farmers. All the breeding and grow-out techniques developed for nase and barbel production are the subject of two handbooks. These documents, attached to the report, will be published and distributed to fish producers. [less ▲]

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See detailHistorical evolution of fish biodiversity and capture periodicity in the River Meuse (Belgium) as revealed by 15 consecutive years of fishpass monitoring
Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege et al

Conference (2015, June)

In the River Meuse at 323km upstream from the North Sea, the hydroelectric dam of Lixhe (rated power of 5300KW) is equipped with two fishpasses: one pool and weir fishpass (in operation since 1980; 0.13m³ ... [more ▼]

In the River Meuse at 323km upstream from the North Sea, the hydroelectric dam of Lixhe (rated power of 5300KW) is equipped with two fishpasses: one pool and weir fishpass (in operation since 1980; 0.13m³.s-1 operating flow) and one vertical slot fishpass (in operation since 1998; 1m3.s-1 operating flow). Both fishpasses were scientifically monitored using capture traps during 15 consecutive years (from 1999 to 2014). The objective of the study is to analyse i) the evolution of fish stock and biodiversity over 15 years and ii) the capture periodicity of fish and it’s variation over years. During the considered period, we observed 36 species at adult stage (88597 individuals with 75% of cyprinids) and 13 species at juvenile (0+) stage (335067 individuals with 90% of cyprinids). Global results between 1999 and 2014 showed a drastic reduction in capture per year (>90%) for some species like Anguilla Anguilla, Alburnus alburnus, Blicca bjoerkna, Rutilus rutilus and Tinca tinca. Whereas other species have emerged like Aspius aspius and Silurus glanis. For the 0+, an important interannual variation is observed from few individuals to several tens of thousands per year. The comparison between both fishpasses indicated a greater use (>50%) of the vertical slot fishpass by rheophilic species and species that have good swimming ability. The analysis of capture periodicity for the most abundant species at adult stage demonstrated the presence of stable behaviours between years for the Abramis abrama and B. bjoerkna respectively a Q50 of the capture day of the year from 108th to 144th day at mean=17°C and from 118th to 155th day at mean=18°C. In contrast other species have patterns more variables (Barbus barbus: Q50 from 96th to 266th day; R. rutilus: from 10th and 309th day). Finally the 0+ exhibited a capture periodicity stable in time during the summer. [less ▲]

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