Reference : Fish responses to artificial flow and water temperature variability in a large river (Rh...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Paper published in a book
Life sciences : Environmental sciences & ecology
Fish responses to artificial flow and water temperature variability in a large river (Rhône, France)
Capra, Hervé [Irstea > UR Maly - Laboratory Dynam > > >]
Ovidio, Michaël mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de Biologie, Ecologie, Evolution. > Laboratoire de Démographie des Poissons et d'Hydroécologie (LDPH) > > >]
Pella, Hervé [Irstea > UR Maly - Laboratory Dynam > > >]
Bergé, Julien [Irstea > UR Maly - Laboratory Dynam > > >]
McNeil, Eric [Hydro-Quebec > > > >]
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Ecohydraulics
9th International Conference on Ecohydraulics
Du 16 septembre au 22 septembre 2012
[en] Fish behaviour ; artificial flow ; temperature ; large River
[en] Understanding fine scale behavioural responses of fish to changes in abiotic characteristics of habitat, such as flow variability, is an interesting innovative issue to improve river management in highly disturbed aquatic environments. For example, in the Rhône River (France), important hydrology and thermal contrasts are mainly explicated by the succession of dams and nuclear power plants. The main aim of our study was to describe fish behaviour in term of movements and habitat use as responses to habitat variability due to the production of peaking electricity and temperature heterogeneity (natural or due to a nuclear power plant release). Fixed
telemetry system (accuracy of few square meters; Hydroacoustic Technology Inc.) enabled to define individual fish behavior during different short habitat variability configuration (flow increase, flow decrease, temperature increase....). We then recorded at a local scale continuous movements of n=61 fish during short term (lower than day) habitat variability. The study was conducted in a 2 km long river stretch, from July to September 2009.
Abiotic conditions (temperature, depth, velocity or substrate) were simulated (with an accuracy comparable with fish positioning accuracy) every where at any time (i.e. for any discharge) using a hydraulic 2D model calibrated and validated for the whole discharge range observed during the experiment. Three main species were represented : two native cyprinids, chub (Squalius cephalus) and barbel (Barbus barbus), and an invasive species, wels catfish (Silurus glanis). Fish mobility and habitat use were studied to describe changes in behavior
associated with changes of abiotic conditions. The separate effects of each environmental factors (discharge, temperature, photoperiod) and their interactions on fish behavioral responses were studied. Finally, variability of fish habitat preferences were estimated to refine understanding of observed behaviors. The different results highlighted the advantages and limitations of the telemetry acoustic system in a large river to address fish displacement in response to discharge and temperature variability. They also emphasized the necessity of a 2D
hydrodynamic model to understand fish behaviour.
Applied and Fundamental FISH Research Center - AFFISH-RC
Researchers ; Students

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