References of "Benitez, Jean-Philippe"
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See detailDéfinition des débits réservés de certains cours d’eau wallons par utilisation des logiciels ESTIMHAB et EVHA
Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Ovidio, Michaël ULiege

Report (2019)

Ce rapport présente les résultats des recherches menées dans le cadre du marché public de Service N°O3.06.04-17J29 : «DEFINITION DES DEBITS RESERVES DE CERTAINS COURS D’EAU WALLONS PAR UTILISATION DES ... [more ▼]

Ce rapport présente les résultats des recherches menées dans le cadre du marché public de Service N°O3.06.04-17J29 : «DEFINITION DES DEBITS RESERVES DE CERTAINS COURS D’EAU WALLONS PAR UTILISATION DES LOGICIELS EVHA ET ESTIMHAB ». Ce marché public de Service obtenu par l’Université de Liège – Laboratoire de Démographie des poissons et d’Hydroécologie a été lancé par le Service Public de Wallonie DG03 – Agriculture, Ressources naturelles et Environnement, Département de la Ruralité et des Cours d’Eau- Direction des Cours d’Eau non navigables (Dr. Ir Sébastien GAILLIEZ). Le travail a été réalisé par Dr. Jean-Philippe Benitez et Pr. Michaël Ovidio (Uliège), avec la collaboration technique d’Arnaud Dierckx (Uliège). [less ▲]

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See detailRehabilitation effort for anadromous salmonids in the river Meuse basin. Achievements and new challenges
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Kestemont, Patrick; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

Conference (2019, May)

Until the end of the 19th century, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) was widespread in the river Meuse basin and salmon fisheries were prosperous in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The number of ... [more ▼]

Until the end of the 19th century, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) was widespread in the river Meuse basin and salmon fisheries were prosperous in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The number of salmon and sea trout captures reaches 57000 ind/year in the Dutch Rhine-Meuse delta. Between 1840 and 1950, the building of navigation dams in the river Meuse and its tributaries, as well as the increase of industrial water pollution and the overexploitation of the stock, led to the extinction of all anadromous fish species. In 1983, the capture of a sea trout (Salmo trutta) in the lower Belgian Meuse brought the problem of the migratory of fish to the surface. Based on scientific advices and feasibility studies carried out from 1983 to 1986, the program Salmon Meuse was launch in 1987. It aims at the restoration of the complete life cycle of migratory salmonids in the international River Meuse Basin. Important rehabilitation efforts have been progressively done since the beginning of the project to the present 1) Improvement of the general quality of the water 2) Restocking with strains originating from France, Ireland, Scotland 3) Hydromorphological restoration of gravel bed habitats 4) The construction of modern fishways for upstream migration in the Meuse and tributaries 5) Adoption of measures to facilitate downstream migration at hydroelectric sites 6) Development of a salmon hatchery with facilities to realise artificial reproduction using returning adults 7) The establishment of international collaboration network 8) The election of the best strains based on genetics of returning adults and the process of smoltification finally 9) The opening of the Haringvliet sluices in the Estuary of the Meuse in the Netherland in 2018. In the year 2000, the first adult salmon originating from restocking program was captured in the fishway of Lixhe, and this return of a salmon, more than 50 years of his extinction, was a major ecological event. From 2000 to 2018, the number of returning Atlantic salmon and sea trout progressively increased and reaches n=60 in the best year. This underline partial achievement of the objectives of the project, but the number of returning adult is sill too low to have a natural sustainable population. Supplementary efforts must be undertaken in the future, especially in terms of success of smolts downstream migration and escapement success as well as an optimization of the restocking practices (in terms of quantity and choice of the best development stage). During our talk, we will synthesise the major key-points of this challenging project whose success requires a balance between the development and maintenance of numerous human activities and the associate preservation of the aquatic environment. We will use examples of results originating from recent scientific research. [less ▲]

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See detailWhat happens to glass eels after restocking in upland rivers? A long‐term study on their dispersal and behavioural traits
Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege; Séleck, Emilie; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

in Aquatic Conservation (2019)

The European eel Anguilla anguilla is a critically endangered fish species as a result of human activities and climate change in river and oceanic ecosystems. Restocking using glass eels in continental ... [more ▼]

The European eel Anguilla anguilla is a critically endangered fish species as a result of human activities and climate change in river and oceanic ecosystems. Restocking using glass eels in continental freshwater areas is a potential conservation measure for enhancing local eel stocks and for conserving the species in aquatic habitats, where it may otherwise disappear. However, little is known about the fate of these restocked individuals and the early ecological behaviour of the young eels translocated in rivers.A portable radio‐frequency identification (RFID) telemetry system and 12‐mm tags were used to track restocked eels for a duration of 4 years. The aim was to understand the early movement, behavioural traits, dispersal, and habitat use of elvers after restocking performed in 2013 with glass eels in a shallow riverine environment.From the 241 tagged eels (total length, Q50 = 152 mm), 85% were detected in 1968 positions during a period of 4 years, beginning in 2014. Clear seasonality in eel activity was observed, with higher mobility in summer when the water temperature was high (above 12°C). Dispersal was slowed by numerous artificial obstacles and the high carrying capacity of habitats. There was a negative relationship between the body size of eels at tagging and their mobility. Five behavioural categories of mobility patterns were identified: ascending, descending, oscillating with an upstream trend, oscillating with a downstream trend, and stationary. The first four categories depleted with time, in favour of stationary individuals that displayed a highly sedentary lifestyle.This study provides new knowledge of the long‐term dispersal behaviour of restocked eels and the influence of seasons, barriers, and habitats on their colonization strategy changing with time. The results contribute to a better understanding of the issue of uncommon restocking practices in upland rivers. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation de la qualité biologique des rivières wallonnes sur base des indices biologiques poissons
Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Rimbaud, Gilles ULiege et al

Report (2018)

Ce document reprend les informations recueillies dans le cadre d’un travail effectué par l’Université de Liège pour le compte du Service public de Wallonie-DEMNA et financé dans le cadre d’un marché ... [more ▼]

Ce document reprend les informations recueillies dans le cadre d’un travail effectué par l’Université de Liège pour le compte du Service public de Wallonie-DEMNA et financé dans le cadre d’un marché public de services qui a pour objectif l’évaluation de la qualité biologique des eaux de surface basée sur les indices biologiques « poissons » dans seize cours d’eau de Wallonie. [less ▲]

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See detailMovement behaviours of potamodromous fish within a large anthropised river after the reestablishment of the longitudinal connectivity
Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege et al

in Fisheries Research (2018), 207

Human activity has caused longitudinal fragmentation of many rivers. Fishways have been installed worldwide, but their successive use by potamodromous species remains poorly documented, particularly in ... [more ▼]

Human activity has caused longitudinal fragmentation of many rivers. Fishways have been installed worldwide, but their successive use by potamodromous species remains poorly documented, particularly in large river ecosystems. Four vertical slot fishways were installed within a 32-km stretch of the lower Belgian Meuse River basin. From 2012 to 2016, n=532 individuals belonging to 11 potamodromous fish species (rheophilic, limnophilic and large carnivorous) were continuously captured in the most downstream fishway (M0), tagged with an RFID transponder and released upstream. These could be further detected in upstream river part within three fishways (M1 and M2 in the Meuse, and O1 in an important tributary, the Ourthe) that were equipped with RFID detection stations. In the first downstream stretch (13 km from M0 to M1) we quantified an ascending rate until M1 (number of individuals detected in M1/ number of individuals tagged in M0) of 32.9% including all individuals tagged, with a maximum value of 67.2% for chub (Squalius cephalus), 40% for pike (Esox Lucius) and 35.5% for nase (Chondrostoma nasus), and a progression time M0 to M1 of 1.1 days per kilometre (d/km), with trout (Salmo trutta) as the fastest species (0.3 d/km). Upstream of the M1 fishway, many individuals of rheophilic species (trout and barbel, Barbus barbus) preferred to enter in the Ourthe tributary (detection at the Ourthe fishway) unlike the upstream Meuse (detection at the most upstream fishway in the Meuse), demonstrating a new accessibility to more adapted spawning sites. Most fish were present within fishways mainly in spring during the circum-spawning migration, and during summer and autumn for dispersal and/or seeking-refuge. The diel activity cycle varied depending on the species, with detection during the entire diel cycle (e.g. chub and barbel), during the day (e.g. trout) and during the night (e.g. catfish, Silurus glanis). The installation of fishways in the degraded river Meuse can be considered adequate for the restoration of the free movement because potamodromous species demonstrated their ability to migrate over long distances (> 20 km) and to reach potential spawning habitats through the reopened access to a tributary. [less ▲]

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See detailEuropean silver eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) migration behaviour in a highly regulated shipping canal
Verhelst, Pieterjan; Bayens, Raf; Reubens, Jan et al

in Fisheries Research (2018), 206

Among the many man-made structures that facilitate shipping, navigable canals take an important position. These canals may offer energetically favourable migration routes for diadromous fish, but they may ... [more ▼]

Among the many man-made structures that facilitate shipping, navigable canals take an important position. These canals may offer energetically favourable migration routes for diadromous fish, but they may also obstruct fish migration, for instance at shipping locks. Because the use of shipping canals by, and their effects on, mi- grating fish remain unknown, we assessed whether these canals can play a significant role in the migration of the critically endangered European eel. Only one third of 70 acoustically tagged silver eels completed migration through a shipping canal, and did so at a very low pace (average < 0.06 m s−1) due to delays at shipping locks and most likely also due to the disruption of water flow. These delays may come at an energetic cost, hampering the chances of successful migration. Knowledge on the impact of shipping canals on diadromous fish is crucial for proper management regulations. For instance, the observation that eels mostly migrated at night and during spring and autumn can support water managers to define adequate measures to improve eel migration in shipping canals. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude du franchissement de 3 passes à poissons sur la Vesdre aval en 1° catégorie
Watthez, Quentin; Goffaux, Delphine; Sonny, Damien et al

Report (2018)

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See detailThe influence of environmental factors on the upstream movements of rheophilic cyprinids according to their position in a river basin
Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Ovidio, Michaël ULiege

in Ecology of Freshwater Fish (2018), 27(3), 660-671

Throughout their lives, fish accomplish frequent movements between functional habitats that are often triggered by environmental signals. We aimed to determine if rheophilic cyprinids (barbel, Barbus ... [more ▼]

Throughout their lives, fish accomplish frequent movements between functional habitats that are often triggered by environmental signals. We aimed to determine if rheophilic cyprinids (barbel, Barbus barbus and chub Squalius cephalus), living in different places of the same river basin, may develop similar movement periodicities and react identically to environmental cues to carry out their spawning migration. We used the capture data of three modern fish passes that were monitored continuously during three consecutive years (2010 to 2012) in three rivers of the Meuse basin in Belgium. We captured 418 individuals at adult stage, and the capture number per species was greater (80%) in spring (during the spawning migration period). The spawning migration of the barbel occurred earlier (median = 122nd day of the year) and at lower temperatures (median = 14.5°C) in the lowland rivers compared to the upland river (140th day of the year and 18.4°C). For the barbel, migration initiation differed depending on the river but finished under similar environmental conditions. In contrast, for the chub, no significant difference between rivers was observed regarding spawning migration periodicity and environmental cues. Within the same river basin, rheophilic cyprinids demonstrate flexibility in their responses to environmental variables and may optimise the start date of migration to spawning grounds depending on their local environment and individual experiences. This phenomenon was more pronounced in the barbel, which has more specific ecological requirements. [less ▲]

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See detailRapport de convention sur la Réhabilitation du Saumon Atlantique dans le bassin de la Meuse
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege et al

Report (2018)

Le présent rapport d’activités intègre les travaux des deux équipes universitaires de Namur et de Liège dans la cadre de la convention relative à la réhabilitation du saumon atlantique dans le bassin de ... [more ▼]

Le présent rapport d’activités intègre les travaux des deux équipes universitaires de Namur et de Liège dans la cadre de la convention relative à la réhabilitation du saumon atlantique dans le bassin de la Meuse. [less ▲]

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See detailThe use of behavioural metrics to evaluate fishway efficiency
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Sonny, Damien; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

in River Research and Applications (2017), 33(9), 1484-1493

Fishways are installed worldwide to facilitate accessibility to functional habitats and to increase the ecological continuity of rivers. Their evaluations are increasing, but complete studies in the field ... [more ▼]

Fishways are installed worldwide to facilitate accessibility to functional habitats and to increase the ecological continuity of rivers. Their evaluations are increasing, but complete studies in the field with wild individuals are still scarce. In the lower Bocq River (Belgium), a pool type fishway was installed in 2011. A combined passive‐integrated‐transponder‐tag and radio‐telemetry system was designed and installed downstream of the dam and in the fishway to analyse fine‐scale individual fish behaviour. Three fish species (brown trout, European grayling, and barbel) were captured in the river; n = 125 fish were tagged and released downstream of the fishway. Behavioural metrics were proposed and used in order to attain a comprehensive view on the efficiency of the fishway, including attraction and entrance efficiency, searching and passage delays, and overall and adjusted passage efficiency. The results indicate a major problem in terms of attraction efficiency (48.9% for the trout, 20.5% for the grayling, and 41.2% for the barbel) and time to find the entrance of the fishway (mean 65.1 hr for the trout and 538.9 r for the grayling). For fish that succeed to approach the entrance of the fishway, the passage efficiency was 86.9% for the trout, 55.5% for the grayling, and 7.1% for the barbel. The time taken to cross the structure was reasonable for the salmonids (mean < 1.5 hr for trout and grayling) but very long (21 hr) for the barbel. Our results underline the necessity of a holistic approach to evaluate fishway efficiency using precise comprehensive metrics and hydraulic characterization. [less ▲]

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See detailA field quantification of all inclusive fish-pass efficiency using a combined telemetry system
Ovidio, Michaël ULiege; Sonny, Damien; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege et al

Conference (2017, July)

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See detailEuropean silver eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) migration behaviour in a highly regulated shipping canal
Verhelst, Pieterjan; Baeyens, Raf; Buysse, David et al

Conference (2017, June)

Over the last 40 years, Anguilla species in the northern hemisphere have shown a strong decline in recruitment. Due to a 98% recruitment decline, the European eel is now classified as critically ... [more ▼]

Over the last 40 years, Anguilla species in the northern hemisphere have shown a strong decline in recruitment. Due to a 98% recruitment decline, the European eel is now classified as critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List. To aid conservation and recovery of European eel populations, the European Union recently adopted a Council Regulation which imposes a management system that ensures 40% escapement of the spawning stock biomass, defined as the best estimate of the theoretical escapement rate if the stock were completely free of anthropogenic influences. Various causes likely contribute to the eel decline (e.g. pollution, human-introduced parasites, changes in ocean climate, habitat deterioration…), but habitat fragmentation by migration barriers that prevent the movement of silver eels between freshwater and the sea is probably one of the most important bottlenecks. During the last decades, a substantial number of canals has been developed, creating new habitat for eels. However, eel migration and potential obstacles in these systems are still underexplored. In this study, we tracked 131 European eels (Anguilla anguilla L.) from October 2014 till March 2017 in the Belgian Albert Canal with acoustic telemetry. The 130-km long canal is on average 86 m wide, 5 m deep and functions as a shipping route between the rivers Schelde and Meuse. The canal has a highly regulated water flow and six shipping locks to overcome the 56-m fall, which may have a negative impact on silver eel escapement. Indeed, we found significant delays (i.e. periods with a significantly prolonged residence time) and a ca 50% lower swimming speed near shipping locks compared to riverine conditions. Depending on nothing but their accumulated fat for migration to their spawning grounds, delays can seriously impact eels by wasting precious energy resources needed for a successful trans-Atlantic migration. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term monitoring of European eels in the Belgian Meuse River basin. From the historical drastic decline to recent outcomes of restocking practices.
Nzau Matondo, Billy ULiege; Dierckx, Arnaud ULiege; Benitez, Jean-Philippe ULiege et al

Conference (2017, June)

Long-term monitoring of yellow- and glass eel stages were performed in upland areas (>300km from sea) in order (i) to quantify the decline of wild yellow eels entering in the Belgian Meuse from the ... [more ▼]

Long-term monitoring of yellow- and glass eel stages were performed in upland areas (>300km from sea) in order (i) to quantify the decline of wild yellow eels entering in the Belgian Meuse from the Netherlands; (ii) to follow their upstream individual colonization; and (iii) to analyze the adaptation of young eels stocked as glass eels imported from UK. By monitoring a fish pass from 1992 to 2016, we quantified that the number of ascending eels has declined from n=5613 in 1992 to n=21 in 2016 (3.99%/year) and the mean length of eels has increased (4.1mm/year). During 6-years, upstream individual colonization of eels (2010-2015, n=1371) was followed using fixed RFIDtracking system. Few eels continued to migrate 4 years after tagging (<0.3%) and at >20km upstream (3.7%); and velocity of eels varied between individuals (0.012- 3.1km/day). In a 4-year (2013-2016) monitoring study of restocked glass eels using electrofishing and mobile RFID-tracking campaigns, we observed that eels grew rapidly in upland small brooks and recruitment was better in rivers with high carrying capacity (>15.8%, 2years post-stocking). Restocked eels dispersed in up- and downstream directions with behaviors including sedentary, nomadic and intermediate lifestyles. This suggests stocking as potential management measure to enhance local eel stocks. [less ▲]

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