Spawning migration behaviour of sea trout (Salmo trutta L.) in a boreal river system: effects of flow conditions and obstacles on migratory activity

Linus Lähteenmäki, Panu Orell, Atso Romakkaniemi, Martin Snickars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In this study, radio telemetry was used to examine the upstream spawning migration behaviour of anadromous brown trout (sea trout), Salmo trutta L., in a boreal river system, the River Isojoki, western Finland. The aim was to study the movement activity and migration characteristics of trout during the upstream spawning migration, as well as to locate the important spawning habitats and study the spawning characteristics. Furthermore, the authors analysed how flow conditions and a hydropower dam, with adjacent fishways, affected the upstream spawning migration. Tagged trout spawned in both the main stem and four tributaries, with spawning taking place from early October to November. The movement activity of radio-tagged trout was influenced by a hydropower dam (Perus dam), with spring migrators spending prolonged periods at the dam area, postponing the migration upstream. Flow conditions affected the total time spent at the dam area, as well as the movement activity in the free-flowing sections above the dam, with increasing flow stimulating activity. In addition, time of river ascent and location of spawning area had a significant effect on the movement activity of tagged trout. These results are further evidence that synergistic effects of flow and migratory obstacles can negatively influence migrations of anadromous fish, regardless of constructed fishways. The management of flow regimes and the efficiency of fishways are vital, as climate change will likely
influence the flow and increase the water temperature of boreal river systems, further aggravating issues caused by obstacles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Salmonid Ecology
  • Sea trout
  • Anadromy
  • Migration behaviour
  • Telemetry

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