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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 (in press)

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 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 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 detailRiver dredging, channel dynamics and bedload transport in an incised meandering river (the River Semois, Belgium).
Gob, F.; Houbrechts, Geoffrey ULiege; Hiver, J. M. et al

in River Research & Applications (2005), 21(7), 791-804

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See detailSedimentary dynamics and bedload transport in the Semois River (Ardenne, Belgium)
Gob, Frédéric ULiege; Houbrechts, Geoffrey ULiege; Petit, François ULiege

in River Research & Applications (2005), 21(7), 791-804

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