Changes of fish assemblages after construction of an estuary barrage in the lower Nakdong River, South Korea

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Limnology, ISSN: 1439-8621, Vol: 17, Issue: 2, Page: 183-197

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Ju-Duk Yoon; Min-Ho Jang; Hyun-Bin Jo; Kwang-Seok Jeong; Gu-Yeon Kim; Gea-Jae Joo
Springer Nature
Environmental Science; Agricultural and Biological Sciences
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In the Nakdong River, an estuary barrage was constructed in 1987, and it divided the freshwater and the seawater, resulting in a change in the ecosystem. To estimate the impact of barrage construction on fish assemblages, we evaluated 20 years of monitoring data before and after the construction of the estuary barrage, and evaluated the role of fishways. The barrage construction generated entire changes of fish assemblages. After construction, the number of fish species dropped sharply, and 36 species disappeared. Conversely, 18 species appeared at this site, including eight freshwater species, seven of which were exotic or translocated species. Barrage construction affected freshwater fish more severely than it did estuarine and marine species because of the existence of an estuarine environment below the barrage. We did not detect any evidence of recovery of fish assemblages. A total of 31 species were collected at fishways, and the number of individuals collected at each fishway was positively correlated with the amount of discharge from the estuary barrage, mean daily tide level, and water temperature. Migratory fish using a fishway had obvious occurrence periods. Therefore, the efficiency of fishway use can be increased if an appropriate management plan is prepared and implemented.