Individual movement patterns of adult ide Leuciscus idus, a Eurasian riverdwelling cyprinid, in two lowland rivers were measured all yearround during 1997-2000 to assess migratory behaviour and variation between and within these populations. In the River Elbe, a 1091 km long lowland river with a free flowing stretch of 590 km, 24 ide were implanted with radio transmitters. Fish were handtracked all yearround once a week in the main study area (75 km), and once per 6 weeks in a larger area (321 km). In the River Vecht, a 190 km long highly regulated river with six weirs and fishways in the Dutch section, 25 ide were implanted with transponders. An array of three automatic detection stations covering the entire river width, registered each individual passage continuously. Within population variation in yearround movement patterns was very high. In both rivers a similar continuum was found from individuals using a river stretch of only a few km for spawning, feeding and wintering, to individuals migrating >100 km. The populations in the two rivers differed, however, in spawning site fidelity. In the River Vecht spawning site fidelity was observed in all individuals and appeared much stronger than in the River Elbe, where individuals moving downstream >60-90 km tended to adopt new spawning sites in the next year. Moreover, some ide in the River Vecht migrated upstream to wintering habitats in autumn, whereas this was not observed in the River Elbe. The results suggest that ide is a flexible species capable of using a wide variety of movement patterns and scales
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