Fisheries Science

, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 333–341 | Cite as

Effects of environmental variables on recruitment of Anguilla japonica glass eels in the Yangtze Estuary, China

  • Hongyi Guo
  • Xuguang Zhang
  • Ya Zhang
  • Wenqiao Tang
  • Jiamin Wu
Original Article Fisheries


The recruitment pattern of Anguilla japonica glass eels into the Yangtze Estuary, China was studied during five successive migration seasons (2012–2016). The variation in daily catch was analyzed in relation to environmental factors that affect inshore migration. Two large migration waves of glass eels were observed in each recruitment season: one in the winter (January/February) and the other in the spring (March/April). A generalized additive model indicated that daily changes in glass eel catch were partially affected by local water temperature and tidal range. Water temperature seemed to have a threshold effect in winter, and there were optimal temperature ranges of 6–8 °C and approximately 10.5–12.0 °C associated with different recruitment waves to the Yangtze Estuary. The influence of tides was complex, with an overall positive correlation. The annual glass eel catch fluctuated greatly, but generally did not show a significant downward trend. To achieve sustainable use of glass eels, it is proposed that relevant management and conservation activities be reinforced.


Catadromous fish Japanese eel Generalized additive model Upstream migration 



We thank Mr. Z. G. Zhao and four fishermen for help with sample collection. We are grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for providing constructive comments that improved the manuscript. This study was supported by the Special Fund for Agro-Scientific Research in the Public Interest (no. 201203065), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31472280) and key project from Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission (no. 20132-2).


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Fisheries and Life ScienceShanghai Ocean UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.The Key Laboratory of Marine Animal Taxonomy and EvolutionShanghai Municipal Education CommissionShanghaiChina

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