Changes in the fish fauna of the Oosterschelde estuary — a ten-year time series of fyke catches
- 1) Marine Biology Section, State University of Ghent, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000, Gent, Belgium
- 2) Netherlands Institute of Ecology — Centre for Estuarine and Coastal Ecology, Vierstraat 28, NL-4401 EA, Yerseke, The Netherlands
Frequency of occurrence of fish species was monitored on a fortnightly basis in four fykes and a weir in the Oosterschelde estuary from 1979 through 1988. This was done in order to record changes in the fish fauna that may have occurred as a response to the construction of a storm-surge barrier in the mouth of the Oosterschelde (1984–1986) and the concomitant building of compartmentalization dams in the landward part. These compartmentalization dams reduced the freshwater inflow into the system. Principal component analysis using the annual averages in frequency of occurrence suggests a slight shift occurred in the fish community separating a cluster of years 1979–1984 from the cluster 1985–1988. Many of the changes in individual species could be attributed to fluctuations in yearclass strength or were part of changes occurring on a wider geographical scale. The only impact of the construction works seems to be the decrease in a number of anadromous fish. Fish traps seem to be useful as a monitoring tool for a number of species. The value of the data collected could be improved if catch size and length-frequency data are recorded.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne