Movement of radio-tagged anadromous sea lamprey during the spawning migration in the River Mondego (Portugal)
The available spawning habitat for the anadromous sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus L., population that enters the River Mondego has been drastically reduced in the last 20 years. The installation of a fish passage in the first impassable dam, the Açude-Ponte, would enable sea lamprey to recolonise the 34.6-km river stretch between the Açude-Ponte and Raiva dams. In order to assess the suitability of the upstream river stretches for this species, 10 radio-tagged sea lamprey were released upstream of the Açude-Ponte dam and tracked continuously throughout the entire migratory path. Lamprey were unable to pass over intact weirs that had been built for recreational purposes. Sea lamprey movements were more frequent during dusk and night than other periods. Increased river discharge at night, resulting from the operation of the Raiva power station, stimulated lamprey movements but reduced ground speeds recorded. After reaching a certain location, some of the animals maintained their position for several weeks, before undergoing a new movement. Two of the main tributaries of this river stretch were used by some sea lamprey, indicating that the animals were able to find these historical spawning grounds.
Key wordsPetromyzon marinus anadromous migration radio tracking regulated river flow hydroelectric production
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