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Article

An Assessment of Hydroacoustic and Electric Fishing Data to Evaluate Long Term Spatial and Temporal Fish Population Change in the River Thames, UK

1
Environment Agency, Trentside, Nottingham NG2 5FA, UK
2
Environment Agency, Richard Fairclough House, Warrington WA4 1HT, UK
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Environment Agency, Mance House, Kidderminster DY11 7SL, UK
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Environment Agency, Rivers House, Colchester CO5 9SE, UK
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Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Wallingford OX10 8BD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michele Mistri
Water 2021, 13(20), 2932; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202932
Received: 8 September 2021 / Revised: 29 September 2021 / Accepted: 30 September 2021 / Published: 19 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydroacoustics in Marine, Transitional and Freshwaters)
This paper reports the results from mobile hydroacoustic surveys carried out between 1994 and 2018, to assess the fish stocks in four impounded reaches, covering 19.8 km of the River Thames, England. The data are complemented with electric fishing boom boat results, collected at the same study reaches and time periods. Hydroacoustic surveys used inter-calibrated dual and split-beam scientific echosounders, with the transducers beaming horizontally across the river to provide fish abundance and distribution estimates. Electric fishing surveys provided catch per unit effort estimates and information on size structure and species composition. Catch data from the margins of the study reaches were dominated by roach (Rutilus rutilus), with bleak (Alburnus alburnus) dominant in mid-river. Hydroacoustic data demonstrated patchy spatial distribution, often associated with natural and anthropogenic habitat features. Cyclical peaks and troughs in both hydroacoustic and electric fishing abundance were found. There were periods of correspondence with electric fishing abundance estimates, but also periods of significant divergence. The concept of ‘Shifting Baseline Syndrome’ is discussed with reference to these data, illustrating the importance of viewing long term quantitative information when using meaningful reference points. The potential impact of river temperature and flow on the fish population data are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: River Thames; hydroacoustics; electric fishing; long term data; fish stock assessment River Thames; hydroacoustics; electric fishing; long term data; fish stock assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lyons, J.; Hateley, J.; Peirson, G.; Eley, F.; Manwaring, S.; Twine, K. An Assessment of Hydroacoustic and Electric Fishing Data to Evaluate Long Term Spatial and Temporal Fish Population Change in the River Thames, UK. Water 2021, 13, 2932. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202932

AMA Style

Lyons J, Hateley J, Peirson G, Eley F, Manwaring S, Twine K. An Assessment of Hydroacoustic and Electric Fishing Data to Evaluate Long Term Spatial and Temporal Fish Population Change in the River Thames, UK. Water. 2021; 13(20):2932. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202932

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lyons, Jim, Jon Hateley, Graeme Peirson, Frances Eley, Stuart Manwaring, and Karen Twine. 2021. "An Assessment of Hydroacoustic and Electric Fishing Data to Evaluate Long Term Spatial and Temporal Fish Population Change in the River Thames, UK" Water 13, no. 20: 2932. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202932

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