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The effect of depth, distance from dam and habitat on spatial distribution of fish in an artificial reservoir

Marie Prchalová, Jan Kubečka, Martin Čech, Jaroslava Frouzová, Vladislav Draštík, Eva Hohausová, Tomáš Jůza, Michal Kratochvíl, Josef Matěna, Jiří Peterka, Milan Říha, Michal Tušer, Mojmír Vašek
Ecology of Freswater Fish, 2009, 18(2): 247-260
DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0633.2008.00342.x
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Spatial distribution of the fish community in the deep canyon-shaped Římov Reservoir, Czech Republic, was studied using overnight gillnetting fishing in 1999–2007. Effects of depth, distance from the dam to the tributary and habitat type (benthic and pelagic) on fish community structure, catch per unit of effort (CPUE), biomass per unit of effort (BPUE) and average weight were tested. Fish were recorded in all sampled depths and parts of the reservoir. Redundancy analysis revealed that effects of three environmental variables were significant and most variability was explained by depth, then by distance from the dam and habitat type. CPUE and BPUE of all species decreased with depth and responses of individual species to depth were similar for juvenile and adult fish. Number of species, CPUE and BPUE of all species except perch increased heading towards the tributary and peaked close to or at the tributary part of the reservoir. Responses of juvenile fish to distance from the dam differed from that of adult fish. Structure of fish community differed in benthic and pelagic habitats with species preferably occupying epipelagic (bleak, asp, rudd and juvenile bleak, roach and bream) or littoral waters (perch, pikeperch, ruffe, roach, bream and juvenile percids). This study showed that fish distribution in the reservoir followed distinct patterns, which were probably shaped by a combination of physiological constraints plus trade-off between food resources and competition.

Keywords: BPUE; CPUE; Cyprinidae; gillnet; horizontal distribution; Percidae; redundancy analysis; reservoir; vertical distribution