Hydroacoustic quantification and assessment of spawning grounds of a lake salmonid in a eutrophicated water body

Winfield, Ian J.; van Rijn, Joey; Valley, Ray D.. 2015 Hydroacoustic quantification and assessment of spawning grounds of a lake salmonid in a eutrophicated water body. Ecological Informatics, 30. 235-240.

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Accurate information on the location and condition of spawning grounds of environmentally-demanding lithophilic fish species, which may use only a very small area of their habitat for spawning, is critical to their conservation and fisheries management but is frequently lacking. Here, the new hydroacoustic system BioBase, which enables the rapid characterisation of features including lake bottom hardness (with soft, medium hard and hard bottoms represented by values of 0 to 0.25, 0.25 to 0.40, and 0.40 to 0.50, respectively), was applied to known spawning grounds of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in the north basin of the eutrophicated lake of Windermere, U.K. The output of BioBase was successfully ground-truthed using an independent video-based system (r2 = 0.48, F = 17.705, p < 0.001) and depth and bottom hardness descriptive statistics were produced for six spawning grounds. Average depth ranged from 9.4 m (North Thompson Holme) to 38.5 m (Balla Wray), while average bottom hardness ranged from 0.254 (Low Wray Bay) to 0.303 (North Thompson Holme). Detailed visual outputs were also produced for contrasting shallow (North Thompson Holme) and deep (Holbeck Point) spawning grounds, both of which showed high within-site spatial variation in bottom hardness and thus in suitability for spawning. Findings were consistent with earlier, less quantitative, interpretations of the possible effects of eutrophication and associated increased deposition of fine sediments on local Arctic charr reproduction.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Parr
ISSN: 1574-9541
Additional Keywords: Arctic charr, bottom typing, Salvelinus alpinus, sedimentation, spatial distribution, Windermere
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 08 Jun 2015 09:28 +0 (UTC)

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