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Melrose, United Kingdom

Gauld N.R.,Durham University | Campbell R.N.B.,The Tweed Foundation | Lucas M.C.,Durham University
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

The impacts of large dams on the hydrology and ecology of river systems are well understood, yet the impacts of low-head structures are poorly known. While impacts of small weirs on upstream-migrating fish have long been mitigated by fish ladders, it is assumed that downstream migration of surface-oriented fishes is unaffected under natural flow regimes. To test this, the effects of low-head weirs and the influence of river flow on the migration of brown trout (Salmo trutta) smolts in the River Tweed, UK, were examined. Movements of acoustic tagged smolts were quantified in 2010 and 2011 using automatic listening stations and manual tracking throughout the migration route. In both years, smolts exhibited major losses, most likely due to predators, with escapement rates of 19% in 2010 and 45% in 2011. Loss rates were greater in 2010 when flows were frequently below Q95 (20% of study period) compared to 2011 when more typical flows predominated (0% of study period below Q95). Smolts experienced significantly longer delays at weirs during 2010 than 2011, associated with the different hydrographs during emigration as well as weir design. Flow comparisons within the study periods and historical records show that low flows experienced in 2010 were not unusual. The swimming behaviour of smolts in relation to flow conditions differed between years, with smolts in 2010 increasing their rate of movement in relation to increasing flow at a faster rate than smolts in 2011. This is the first study to demonstrate river flow impacts on the migration success of wild salmonid smolts at small weirs. Because small weirs are common in rivers and because spring-summer low-flow periods may become more frequent with climate change (based on UKCIP09 models) and altered river hydrology, further research and improved management is needed to reduce the impacts of low river flows in combination with low-head weirs on salmonid smolt migration. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Gauld N.R.,Durham University | Campbell R.N.B.,The Tweed Foundation | Lucas M.C.,Durham University
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2016

Management of multiple exploited stocks of anadromous salmonids in large catchments requires understanding of movement and catchment use by the migrating fish and of their harvesting. The spawning migration of sea trout (Salmo trutta) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) was studied in the River Tweed, UK, using acoustic telemetry to complement exploitation rate data and to quantify catchment penetration. Salmon (n = 79) and sea trout (n = 65) were tagged in the tidal-influenced Tweed in summer–autumn. No tagged salmon left the river before spawning, but 3% (2010) and 8% (2011) of pre-spawning sea trout dropped out. Combined tag regurgitation/fish mortality in salmon was 12.5%, while trout mortality was 6% (2010) and 0% (2011). The estimated spawning positions of salmon and sea trout differed; tagged salmon were mostly in the main channel while trout occurred mostly in the upper Tweed and tributaries. Early fish migrated upstream slower than later fish, but sea trout moved through the lower-middle river more quickly than salmon, partly supporting the hypothesis that the lower exploitation rate in autumn of trout (1 vs 3.3% for salmon) there is generated by differences in migration behaviour. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Briers R.A.,Napier University | Waterman J.O.,Napier University | Galt K.,The Tweed Foundation | Campbell R.N.B.,The Tweed Foundation
Ecology of Freshwater Fish | Year: 2013

Trout (Salmo trutta) exhibit anadromous and non-anadromous forms which are commonly sympatric. Offspring of the two forms can be separated by differences in characteristics such as stable isotope ratios and carotenoid pigments, which differ due to the influence of maternal resources. The rate of change in different characteristics due to freshwater feeding and the extent of differences between populations however remain unclear. Stable isotope (N and C) ratios and carotenoid pigment profiles were examined in the offspring of anadromous and non-anadromous fish sampled at different times from six sites within the catchment of the River Tweed, UK. Both techniques were able to separate newly emerged fry successfully, with carbon isotopes distinguishing the forms better than nitrogen isotopes and zeaxanthin being the primary carotenoid pigment used to distinguish the offspring of different migratory forms. By 4 months, stable isotope ratios of the two forms were still distinct although both carbon and nitrogen ratios needed to be considered to distinguish the forms. Zeaxanthin levels were more variable and overlapped between the offspring of the two forms. There was significant variation between populations and over time in both isotope ratios and carotenoid composition. Comparison between the two techniques would suggest that stable isotopes are more effective for distinguishing between offspring of different forms as the distinctions are evident for longer. Population differences in isotope ratios could influence the extent to which the forms can be distinguished and need to be quantified more thoroughly to fully evaluate the technique. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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