[en] fish community ; habitat modelling ; size composition ; biomass ; salmonid stream ; minimum flow
[en] A hydroelectric power plant (HPP) started operation in December 2002 on the River Lhomme, (mean annual flow: 1.78 m(3) s(-1)supercript stop; mean annual water temperature: 9.9 degrees C). The new HPP bypasses the river over a length of 1.2 km. The minimum flow allowed in the bypassed section is currently fixed at 0.220 m(3) s(-1)supercript stop. Before the construction of the HPP, two contrasted 150-m-long reaches of the Lhomme were selected to estimate their total fish population abundance and to analyse their fish population dynamics. Electrofishing was carried out in each of these two reaches on 23 April 2002 in a natural flow situation to remove the fish. Other inventories were carried out in late April or early May in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 in minimum flow conditions. The results revealed a prompt and severe decrease in the total fish biomass (up to 81% for grayling from 2002 to 2006) combined with severe changes in the fish community structure that were not observed in a reference site. The effects of the flow reduction varied considerably depending on the size of the individuals, the species concerned and their habitat availability, which was modelled using a classical physical habitat simulation (EVHA method).