Russon, Iain J. and Kemp, Paul S.
Advancing provision of multi-species fish passage: behaviour of adult European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) in response to accelerating flow
Ecological Engineering, 37, (12), . (doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2011.08.005).
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The behavioural response of downstream moving European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) to velocity gradients created by orifice weirs placed in a flume were studied. The aim was to identify interspecific variation and test two hypotheses: (1) a more abrupt velocity gradient would induce a higher avoidance response and over a greater distance, and (2) fish would acclimate to the velocity gradient by incrementally sampling conditions closer to the orifice until successful passage occurred. European eel moved along the channel floor and walls, responding after physical contact with the weir. Brown trout moved downstream head first and switched orientation at the velocity gradient without contacting the structure. Brown trout spent longer than European eel immediately upstream of a channel floor orifice, although time to pass was similar; but less time at a mid-column orifice despite taking longer to pass. The mid-column orifice delayed both species longer. European eel passed orifices head first on initial encounter with no rejections, whereas brown trout passed tail first. Positions where brown trout first switched orientation and closest point to the orifice reached during initial approach occurred closer to a channel floor than mid-column treatment. Brown trout did not appear to acclimate to the velocity gradient by sampling successively closer to the orifice. Interspecific variation in behaviour remains a key challenge in developing multi-species fish passes
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