, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 231-239
Date: 07 Nov 2008

Hydroacoustic study of spatial and temporal distribution of Gymnocypris przewalskii (Kessler, 1876) in Qinghai Lake, China

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Gymnocypris przewalskii (Kessler 1876) is an endangered and state-protected rare fish species in Qinghai Lake, China. To further understand the life history and distribution of this fish, five surveys were carried out in Qinghai Lake between 2002–2006. Results of these surveys indicate that fishes were predominantly distributed about 2 m under the surface. In July, significant differences in fish density were found between surface and bottom layers (P = 0.001), and/or between middle and bottom layers (P = 0.025). Fish density was the greatest in the surface layer. In August and October, no significant differences were found between the different layers, but the bottom layer had a greater fish density. Furthermore, there were very large differences among different zones in fish distribution density. Differences in horizontal distribution were not significantly correlated to factors such as water depth and inshore distance, possibly because of very low and uniform fish density. Feeding, changes in water temperature, over-wintering and spawning appeared to influence fish distribution. Hydroacoustic estimates of G. przewalskii biomass in Qinghai Lake increased significantly between 2002 and 2006. We attribute this increase to the management measures put in place to protect this species.