In commission of Rijkswaterstaat Directorate Limburg, a desk study was carried out by the OVB to assess whether fish species in the river Meuse are restricted in their abundance and distribution by the lack of appropriate spawning habitat. The area studied comprises the Dutch part of the river between Eijsden and Hedel, including old river arms and former gravel pits connected with the main stream. Not included in the study is the Grensmaas, a non-canalised stretch of the river. A total of 21 fish species were selected, whose habitat requirements regarding spawning and growth were collected by a literature survey. The assessment was made by relating habitat-associated factors (water depth, rate of flow, substratum, macrophytes) with fish-specific requirements on spawning and growth. Thus it was possible to assess per river section of 100 meters length its potential suitability as spawning and nursery area for 17 species. It was concluded that no potential spawning and nursery areas are available for barbel (Barbus barbus), chub (Leuciscus cephalus), nose carp (Chondrostoma nasus) and dace (Leuciscus leuciscus). The presence of these species in the study area can be explained by migration out of the Grensmaas. Only on 1.5 % of the total amount of river sections macrophytes are present, which obviously limits the possibilities for the phytophilic species pike (Esox lucius), tench (Tinca tinca), crucian carp (Carassius carassius), carp (Cyprinus carpio), bitterling (Rhode us sericeus amarus), white bream (Blicca bjoerkna) and rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus). For ide (Leuciscus idus), gudgeon (Gobio gobio), bleak (Alburnus alburnus), perch (Perca fluviatilis), pikeperch (Stizostedion hicioperca) and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) potential spawning and nursery areas are abundantly present.
Research Article|February 01 1994
Assessment of Spawning and Nursery Areas in the River Meuse
Water Sci Technol (1994) 29 (3): 297-299.
F. T. Vriese, S. Semmekrot, A. J. P. Raat; Assessment of Spawning and Nursery Areas in the River Meuse. Water Sci Technol 1 February 1994; 29 (3): 297–299. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1994.0124
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