Avoidance behaviour of Alosa fallax fallax to pulsed ultrasound and its potential as a technique for monitoring clupeid spawning migration in a shallow river
Environment Agency Wales, Rivers House, St. Mellons Business Park, St. Mellons, Cardiff, Wales CF3 0LT, UK
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 3 March 2003
A hydroacoustic monitoring technique to quantify and assess the ecological requirements for migration of the anadromous clupeid, Alosa fallax fallax (twaite shad) was developed, and its effectiveness studied, on the River Wye in Wales. The acoustic monitoring technique was a side aspect application, with two transducers fixed permanently to the riverbank and the acoustic beam from each aimed horizontally across the river towards the opposite bank, perpendicular to flow. Two split-beam echo sounders and transducers were deployed, each operating at different frequencies (200 and 420 kHz). Using a combination of these two frequencies it was possible to demonstrate that shad show bold avoidance behaviour to sound transmitted at 200 kHz and would not pass the monitoring site when sound was transmitted at this frequency. They remained unaffected by sound transmitted at 420 kHz and were observed migrating upstream in large, loosely aggregated shoals. From visual observations above and below the water, shoals were estimated to comprise of many hundreds of individuals, covering a size range of between 30 and 45 cm. Only a few individuals could be resolved by the acoustic system operating at 420 kHz, and it was therefore, not possible to obtain a count of fish by "target tracking" single shad. However, by transmitting 200 kHz sound pulses on a 50% duty cycle the seasonal and daily patterns of shad migration were derived from the analysis of data gathered by the acoustic system operating at 420 kHz.
Key words: Fish behaviour / Split-beam / Shad
© Elsevier, IRD, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, 2003