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Spawning movements of European grayling Thymallus thymallus in the River Aisne (Belgium)



Spawning movements of European grayling Thymallus thymallus in the River Aisne (Belgium)



Folia Zoologica 53(1): 87-98



In three consecutive years (1998 to 2000), 20 adult grayling Thymallus thymallus (L.) (FL [plus or minus] SD: 326 [plus or minus] 43 mm) were radio-tracked during circum reproduction period (February to May) in the River Aisne, Belgium. Before the spawning period, grayling remained consistently in the pool-riffle sequence in which they had been captured. Pre-spawning migration time extended from 7 to 29 March. Distances travelled during the spawning migration ranged from 70 to 4980 in (mean [plus or minus] S.E.: 1234 [plus or minus] 328 m). Spawning migrations stalled under conditions of decreasing water level and increasing water temperature in a thermal range (daily mean T[degree]) from 5 to 8 [degree]C. Spawners remained from 1 to 31 days (mean [plus or minus] S.D.: 10.4 [plus or minus] 9.8 days) at the spawning grounds and performed a post-spawning homing from 28 March to 18 April in decreasing water flow and in a thermal range (daily mean T[degree]) from 7 to 11 [degree]C. This study demonstrates that migration patterns of grayling are similar between years, but with a timing adjusted as a response to annual variations of the hydroclimatic conditions.

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