Distribution of sturgeon in the River Irtysh
AbstractUsing the modern hydroacoustic methods and the computerized software and hardware complex “AsCor”, the features of the distribution of fish of the Acipenseridae family in the lower reaches of the large transboundary river the Irtysh (Western Siberia) have been investigated: in the water area of the riverbed depression (turbulent flow) and control sections (laminar flow). The identification of sturgeon was carried out by the echometric method according to the shape of the swim bladder. It is shown that in the water area of the riverbed depression, increased density of fish is formed, the share of sturgeons being 4.9–5.8%. Among other fish species, the group of cyprinids always dominates. The significant excess of the average fish density in the riverbed depression, in contrast to the control, was 6–30 times. In the water area of the riverbed depression, the average fish density was 4,524, in the control sections 245–2,091 individuals/ha. The size structure of the group of sturgeon in the control sections was represented by individuals with body sizes less than 25–30 cm, and in the riverbed depression – by individuals of different sizes and ages with a body length to 35 cm. The water area of the riverbed depression is located in the meandering section of the river and is characterized by intense vertical vortex structures (whirlpools) and the presence of malfunctioning currents. Features of the hydrological characteristics of the riverbed depression are factors in the formation of aggregations of fish, since fish can use the energy of discrete vortices, low-velocity areas, and as a result, show preference for certain turbulence regimes.
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