[en] The instream positions of brown trout fry differ between daylight and darkness. According to field and laboratory observations, recently emerged 0+ brown trout use shallow and slow-flowing areas close to the bank at night and tend to move off-shore during daylight. In laboratory channels, we tested whether the use of habitats close to the river bank could be attributed to a choice of either water depth or velocity. In two complementary experiments, emerging brown trout alevins were given the choice of using shallow-slow or deep-swift habitats (experiment 1), and deep-slow or shallow-swift habitats (experiment 2). At night, a persistent preference for the shallow habitats was displayed, regardless of velocity. It was concluded that swim-up brown trout fry respond to shallowness rather than ambient low water velocity when selecting habitats close to the bank at night. The behavioural significance of this result and implications for river management are discussed.
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