Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 100, Issue 10, pp 1329–1341 | Cite as

Downstream migration of newly-hatched ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) in the Tien Yen River of northern Vietnam



The ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) is an annual, amphidromous, plecoglossid fish, distributed in Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. To date, ayu have been found only in two rivers in northern Vietnam, where little is known about their life history. The Tien Yen River is believed to be the most southwestern habitat for this species. To determine whether newly hatched ayu larvae drift and to understand their downstream migration, intensive surveys were conducted in the Tien Yen River from October to March of 2013–2016. In total, 529 drifting ayu larvae were collected from four of six sampling stations along the river. Thus, ayu reproduction has been confirmed in this river for the first time, where only adult fish had been found previously. However, we did not successfully collect larvae in the eastern branch of the river, which has a hydroelectric dam, suggesting that ayu do not inhabit this branch or else do not reproduce there. The presence of drifting larvae in the western branch from mid-December to late January implies that they spawn from late November to mid-January. Drifting larvae were captured primarily at night, but peak occurrences varied depending upon the day and the sampling station. With the range of body sizes and variable diel abundance patterns, ayu in the Tien Yen River probably employ multiple spawning grounds. This study provides fundamental life history data for the vulnerable ayu populations in northern Vietnam.


Downstream migration Drifting larvae Plecoglossus altivelis Spawning grounds Vietnam 



We are grateful to staff members at the Laboratory of Fish (Department of Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Hanoi National University of Education: HNUE, Vietnam) for their support during field and laboratory work. We express special thanks to Izumi Kinoshita (Kochi University) and Yuichi Hirota for their providing valuable equipment and initial instructions. This research was funded by Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) under grant number: 106-NN.05-2014.03. We appreciate Steven D. Aird (OIST) for editing the manuscript, and Nori Satoh and members of Marine Genomics Unit (OIST) for generous support. We would like to thank anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions relative to an earlier draft of this paper. WinLab® Data Line for dissolved oxygen measurement is provided by the Laboratory of Ecological and Environmental Research of the Faculty of Biology, HNUE. All surveys in the present study complied with the current laws of Vietnam.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hanoi National University of EducationHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.Sado Marine Biological Station, Faculty of ScienceNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  3. 3.Marine Genomics UnitOkinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate UniversityOkinawaJapan

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