Fisheries Science

, Volume 77, Issue 6, pp 891–901 | Cite as

Hydroacoustic survey of fish density, spatial distribution, and behavior upstream and downstream of the Changzhou Dam on the Pearl River, China

  • Xichang Tan
  • Myounghee KangEmail author
  • Jiangping Tao
  • Xinhui Li
  • Daoming Huang
Original Article Fisheries


Hydroacoustic surveys were conducted to understand the relationship between fish density, spatial distribution, and behavior upstream and downstream of the Changzhou Dam on the Pearl River, China, and the condition (open/closed) of the spillways. When the spillways were open on 24 June 2010, numerous fish were observed to be densely distributed in the forebay upstream of the dam, with an average fish density was 0.22 fish m−3. When the spillways were closed on 25 June 2010, the fish upstream of the dam dispersed, and the average fish density decreased to 0.007 fish m−3. Prior to operating the spillways on 24 May 2010, the average fish density downstream of the dam was 0.28 fish m−3; in comparison, on 26 June, immediately following closure of the spillways, the average fish density downstream of the dam was 0.08 fish m−3. Fish were more active on June 24 than on 25 June: they swam faster and their positions in the water column varied greatly. On 26 June, fish did not to swim as freely in the water column as those measured on 24 May. Based on these observations, we conclude that a large number of fish are able to swim to the upstream side of the dam while the spillways are open.


Hydroacoustic survey Fish density Fish spatial distribution Fish behavior Pearl River Changzhou Dam 



This study was carried out with the participation of the Wuzhou Detachment of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Fengkai Detachment, Guangdong Fishing Administrative Brigade, and financed by Science and Technology Item of China (No. 2005DIB3J023) and Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest. We would like to thank Professor Yong-Zhen Li and students Xi-Yong Hu and Li-Na Dong for their participation and great help. We thank Suenor Woon and Alison Wilcox for assistance with the English in the paper. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their contribution in improving the manuscript with their valuable comments.


  1. 1.
    Li YF, Li XH, Tan XC (2008) Fisheries resources of the Zhaoqing section the Pearl River. Chin J Reserve Fish 28:80–83 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tao JP, Gao Y, Qao Y (2010) Hydroacoustic observation of fish behavior and spatial patterns in the ship lock and adjacent areas of the Gezhouba Dam, Yangtze River. Acta Ecol Sin 30:233–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Thorne RE, Johnson GE (1993) A review of hydroacoustic studies for estimation of salmon downriver migration past hydroelectric facilities on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the 1980s. Rev Fish Sci 1:27–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Steig TW, Iverson TK (1998) Acoustic monitoring of salmonid density, target strength, and trajectories at two dams on the Columbia River, using a split-beam scanning system. Fish Res 35:43–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tao JP, Qiao Y, Tan XC (2009) Species identification of Chinese sturgeon using acoustic descriptors and ascertaining their spatial distribution in the spawning ground of Gezhouba Dam. Chin Sci Bull 54:3972–3980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tan XC, Chang JB, Tao JP, Li XH (2008) Survey on fish distribution in the forequarter of the three gorge reservoir using EY60 split-beam echosounder. Chin J Ecol Sci 27:329–334Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen DQ, Zhang X, Tan XC (2009) Hydroacoutic study of spatial and temporal distribution of Gymnocypris prezewalskii in Qinghai Lake, China. Environ Biol Fish 84:231–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tan X, Li X, Chang J, Tao J (2009) Acoustic observation of the spawning aggregation of Megalobrama hoffmanni in the Pearl River. J Freshw Ecol 24:293–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Aglen A (1983) Random errors of acoustic fish abundance estimates in relation to the survey grid density applied. FAO Fish Rep 300:293–298Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Myriax (2011) Echoview. Version 4.90. Myriax Software Pty Ltd, HobartGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Soule M, Barange M, Solli H, Hampton I (1997) Performance of a new phase algorithm for discriminating between single and overlapping echoes in a split-beam echo sounder. ICES J Mar Sci 54:934–938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Blackman SS (1986) Multiple-target tracking with radar applications. Artech House, DedhamGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Simmonds J, Maclennan D (2005) Fisheries acoustics: theory and practice, 2nd edn. Blackwell, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Allen P (2009) Operation of spillway gates—how to avoid the problems and pitfalls. In: 34th Annual Qld Water Industry Operations Workshop. Caloundra, pp 98–105Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kemp PS, Gessel MH, Williams JG (2008) Response of downstream migrant juvenile Pacific salmonids to accelerating flow and overhead cover. Hydrobiologia 609:205–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Scheuerell MD, Schindler DE (2004) Changes in the spatial distribution of fishes in lakes along a residential development gradient. Ecosystems 7:98–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Prchalova M, Kubecka J, Cech M, Frouzova J, Drastık V, Hohausova E, Juza T, Kratochvıl M, Matena J, Peterka J, Rıha M, Tuser M, Vasek M (2009) The effect of depth, distance from dam and habitat on spatial distribution of fish in an artificial reservoir. Ecol Freshw Fish 18:247–26Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Warner DM, Schaeffer JS, O’Brien TP (2010) The Lake Huron pelagic fish community: persistent spatial pattern along biomass and species composition gradients. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 66:1199–1215Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    CEN (European Committee for Standardization) (2005) Water quality—sampling of fish with multi-mesh gill nets, EN 14757. CEN, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Liao GZ, Lu KX, Zhao XZ (1989) Fisheries resources of the Pearl River and their exploitation. In: Dodge DP (ed) Proc Int Large River Symp (LARS). Can Spec Publ Fish Aquat Sci 106:561–568Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Drastık V, Kubecka J, Tuser M, Cech M, Frouzova J, Jarolım O, Prchalova M (2008) The effect of hydropower on fish stocks: comparison between cascade and non-cascade reservoirs. Hydrobiologia 609:25–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pavlov DS, Mikheev VN, Lupandin AI, Skorobogatov MA (2008) Ecological and behavioural influences on juvenile fish migrations in regulated rivers: a review of experimental and field studies. Hydrobiologia 609:125–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kubecka J, Wittingerova M (2003) Horizontal beaming as a crucial component of acoustic fish stock assessment in freshwater reservoirs. Aquat Living Resour 16:325–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Djemali I, Toujani R, Guillard J (2008) Hydroacoustic fish biomass assessment in man-made lakes in Tunisia: horizontal beaming importance and diel effect. Aquat Ecol 43:1121–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mackenzie KV (1981) Nine-term equation for sound speed in the ocean. J Acoust Soc Am 70:807–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Francois RE, Garrison GR (1982) Sound absorption based on ocean measurements: part I: pure water and magnesium sulfate contributions. J Acoust Soc Am 72:896–907CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Love RH (1977) Target strength of a fish at any aspect. J Acoust Soc Am 62:1397–1403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Frouzova J, Kubecka J, Balk H, Frouz J (2005) Target strength of European freshwater fish and its dependence on fish body parameters. Fish Res 75:86–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xichang Tan
    • 1
  • Myounghee Kang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jiangping Tao
    • 3
  • Xinhui Li
    • 1
  • Daoming Huang
    • 3
  1. 1.Pearl River Fishery Research InstituteChinese Academic of Fishery ScienceGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Myriax Software Pty LtdHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Institute of HydroecologyMinistry of Water Resources & Chinese Academy of ScienceWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations