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Timing of downstream migration and food uptake of juvenile North Sea houting stocked in the Lower Rhine and the Lippe (Germany)

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In 1992 a stocking programme was established to re‐introduce North Sea houting Coregonus oxyrinchus, which disappeared from the River Rhine in the 1940s, in the Lower Rhine. Juvenile North Sea houting have been stocked since 2001 in a gravel pit lake permanently connected to the Lower Rhine, and in the Lippe, a potamal tributary of the Rhine. Monitoring studies showed that the majority of the small North Sea houting left the gravel pit lake within 4 days after stocking. In the Lippe, some of the juveniles were found in the drift immediately after stocking, generally preferring the middle surface areas of the river. Other North Sea houting waited until dawn before they started their downstream migration. Juveniles immediately started to feed on the zooplankton resources in both waters. Pond studies revealed high growth rates of juvenile North Sea houting, ranging from 0·44 to 0·94 mm day−1. This study suggests that the stocking strategies at both waters of the Lower Rhine comply with the requirements of the migration behaviour of juvenile North Sea houting.
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Keywords: Coregonus oxyrinchus; downstream migration; drift; food; growth; stocking programme

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: University of Cologne Zoological Institute, General Ecology and Limnology, Research Station Grietherbusch, 46459 Rees-Grietherbusch, Germany

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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