Development of a fish-based index combining data from different types of fishing gear. A case study of reservoirs in Flanders (Belgium)

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    ABSTRACT. Fish assemblages in reservoirs and lakes are mainly assessed by multiple sampling gear. The
    challenge exists in how to combine all the data from the different types of gear to develop a fish-based index.
    In this paper, we describe a novel approach to this challenge in reservoirs in Flanders. The developed approach
    can also be used for natural lakes in the same eco-region and for any combination of fishing methods. In a first
    step, we defined a reference list of fish species occurring in man-made Flemish reservoirs. To compile this
    reference list, we adapted the reference for Dutch lakes with recent data from freshwater reservoirs in Flanders.
    This reference list contains guild-specific information needed to define metrics. To pre-classify the reservoirs, a
    habitat status for each reservoir was set using abiotic parameters (pressures). Fish gear-dependent metrics were
    selected according to their response to these pressures. Threshold values for metrics were determined based on
    the species reference list and occasionally on the calculated metric values. The ecological quality ratios derived
    from the index calculation were validated with an independent set of data. The developed index proved to
    successfully assess the ecological status of the reservoirs in Flanders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberBelg. J. Zool., 145(1) : 17-39
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)17-39
    Number of pages23
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015

    Thematic list

    • Environment
    • Policy

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology

    Taxonomic list

    • fishes (Pisces)


    • Water Framework Directive


    • modelling

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