TitleThe effect of hydropower on fish stocks: comparison between cascade and non-cascade reservoirs
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsDrastik, V, Kubečka, J, Tuser, M, Cech, M, Frouzová, J, Jarolim, O, Prchalova, M

Spatial distributions of fish were studied in two types of reservoirs by means of hydroacoustics during the summer. Different patterns of fish distribution were found in non-cascade (Rimov, Zelivka) and cascade (Kamyk, Slapy, Stechovice, Vrane) reservoirs. Maximum biomass and density of fish were observed in the tributary area of the non-cascade reservoir. The biomass declined towards the dam area. Average weight of fish showed the opposite trend-maximum average weight was observed in the dam area and declined towards the tributary area. In the cascade reservoirs fish distribution was found to be more complicated but the maximum biomass and density of fish were observed in the dam areas, whereas the tributary areas were nearly fishless. Poor ecohydrological conditions in the tributaries of cascade reservoirs are likely to be responsible for the low abundance of fish in these areas. This was evident in the example of Vrane reservoir which has two major inflows. Low biomass and density of fish were observed in the cold and low oxygen saturated inflowing cascade Vltava River while higher biomass and density were observed in the warm and well oxygen saturated Sazava River inflow. Average weights of fish followed the same trend as in non-cascade reservoirs-the maximum was in the dam area and it declined towards the tributary area. The vertical distribution of fish is driven by the fully developed stratification of temperature and oxygen during the summer season in non-cascade reservoirs. A significantly lower biomass of fish was observed below the thermocline in vertical surveys in both non-cascade and cascade reservoirs. Summer stratification in cascade reservoirs is weakly developed or is not developed at all due to hypolimnetic releases of cold water and short retention times. High transparency suggests lower primary production in cascade reservoirs.