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An evaluation of restocking practice and demographic stock assessment methods for cryptic juvenile European eel in upland rivers
Matondo, B.N.; Benitez, J.-P.; Dierckx, A.; Rollin, X.; Ovidio, M. (2020). An evaluation of restocking practice and demographic stock assessment methods for cryptic juvenile European eel in upland rivers. Sustainability 12(3): 1124. https://hdl.handle.net/10.3390/su12031124
In: Sustainability. MDPI: Basel. ISSN 2071-1050, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]
Author keywords
    stock assessment; capture-mark-recapture; RFID telemetry; restocking; juvenile; European eel

Authors  Top 
  • Matondo, B.N., more
  • Benitez, J.-P., more
  • Dierckx, A., more

Abstract
    Restocking of the critically endangered European eel Anguilla anguilla is widespread, but it is rarely scientifically evaluated. Methods used to assess its associated performance by estimating the survival rate and implement restocking for maximum recruitment in rivers have not yet been investigated. Based on two glass eel restocking events using a single release site/point and multiple sites per river performed in upland rivers (>340 km from the North Sea), the recruitment success of stocked eels was scientifically evaluated during a 3-year study using multiple capture-mark-recapture methods and mobile telemetry. We compared the observed data with the data estimated from the Telemetry, De Lury and Jolly-Seber stock assessment methods. For recruitment data, Telemetry was very close to Jolly-Seber, an appropriate stock assessment method for open populations. Using the best model of Jolly-Seber, survival probability was higher (>95%) in both restocking practices, but recruitment yields were higher and densities of stocked eels were lower in multiple sites compared to a single site. Our results suggest that Telemetry can help to rapidly assess cryptic juvenile eel stocks with good accuracy under a limited number of capture-mark-recapture sessions. Artificial dispersal of glass eels on several productive habitats/sites per river appears to be the better-suited practice for restocking.

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