Mortality of European eel after downstream migration through two types of pumping stations

D. Buysse, A. M. Mouton, M. Stevens, T. Van den Neucker, J. Coeck

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    Although numerous pumping stations (PS) have been used by water managers for numerous applications on rivers, canals and other water bodies, their impact on fish populations is poorly understood. This study investigates European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.), mortality after natural downstream passage through a propeller pump and two Archimedes screw pumps at two PSs on two lowland canals in Belgium. Fyke nets were mounted permanently on the outflow of the pumps during the silver eel migration periods. Based on the condition and injuries, maximum eel mortality rates were assessed. Mortality rates ranged from 97 5% for the propeller pump to 17 7% for the large Archimedes screw pump and 19 11% for the small Archimedes screw pump. Most injuries were caused by striking or grinding. The results demonstrate that PSs may significantly threaten escapement targets set in eel management plans.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)13-21
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Thematic list

    • Management
    • Species and biotopes

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology
    • delayed mortality
    • barrier
    • injury
    • fish migration
    • fish passage

    Taxonomic list

    • fishes (Pisces)
    • freshwater eels (Anguillidae)
    • eel-like fishes (Anguillidae)


    • aquatic management

    Geographic list

    • polders
    • Meetjesland
    • Scheldt


    • fisheries technology
    • fieldwork (observations and sampling)


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