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River and estuary movements of yellow-stage American eels Anguilla rostrata, using a hydrophone array

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Patterns of summertime movement and habitat use of yellow-stage American eels Anguilla rostrata within York River and estuary and Gaspé Bay (Gaspesia, Québec, Canada) were examined using acoustic telemetry. Fifty fish were tagged with acoustic transmitters and released, either in the river or in the upper estuary, and their patterns of movement and habitat use were monitored at short spatial and temporal scales during the summer months using a dense hydrophone array. Approximately half of the fish released in the river swam to the estuary; two-thirds of the fish released within the estuary did not move out of the estuary. Anguilla rostrata were detected more frequently and had a greater areal range of detections during night, suggesting greater nocturnal activity. Longitudinal movements within the estuary tended to occur nocturnally, with upstream movements from early to late evening, and downstream movements from late evening to early morning. Approximately one-third of fish showed a regular pattern of movement, tending to reside in the deeper, downstream part of the estuary during day and in the shallower, more upstream part of the estuary during night. Approximately a quarter of fish, located in the upper estuary, remained upstream during both night and day. The remaining fish showed patterns intermediate between these two.

Keywords: Anguilla rostrata; habitat selection; nocturnal longitudinal movements; sedentary behaviour

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Département de Biologie, Université Laval, Québec, QC, G1K 7P4 Canada 2: Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, Direction de l’expertise Énergie-Faune-Forêts-Mines-Territoire du Saguenay—Lac St-Jean, 3950 boulevard Harvey, Jonquière, QC, G7X 8L6 Canada 3: Ministère des Ressources Naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, 880 chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, QC, G1S 4X4 Canada

Publication date: April 1, 2010


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