Changjiang Liuyu Ziyuan Yu Huanjing/Resources and Environment in the Yangtze Valley

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Abstract :

Hydrodynamic characteristics of spawning grounds are important factors affecting the spawning of four major Chinese carps (Mylopharyngodon piceus, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, and Aristichthys nobilis). To investigate the relationship between the preferred hydrodynamic characteristics of spawning sites and the response of fish spawning behavior, we monitored the flow field of spawning sites during ecological operation of the Three Gorges Dam (i.e., man-made flood regulation) in 2014 and 2015. We used the data to explore the correlation between vorticity changes in spawning grounds and the spawning amount. Pearson correlation coefficients of the average vorticity in all cross-sections of the Yidu spawning ground and spawning amount in 2014 and 2015 were 0.730 and 0.822, respectively, indicating a significant positive correlation between vorticity and spawning activity. In some specific regions, this correlation was even stronger (Pearson correlations of the regional vorticity and egg production were >0.95). To further corroborate and analyze the relationship between these specific regions and the distribution of broodstock during the breeding season, an ultrasonic telemetry test of broodstock was conducted in the Yidu spawning ground in 2016. The results showed that the broodstocks were concentrated in the reach near the Quantong Pier (~76 km from the Three Gorges Dam). These regions were consistent with areas of river characterized by highly correlated vorticity and egg production levels, suggesting that these regions are areas preferred by four major Chinese carps for spawning.