Is proximity to the North Atlantic Drift and the Continental Shelf Current sustaining freshwater European eel populations in western Scotland?
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 58, Issue 1, pages 1–9, January 2013
How to Cite
ADAMS, C. E., GODFREY, J. D., DODD, J. A. and MAITLAND, P. S. (2013), Is proximity to the North Atlantic Drift and the Continental Shelf Current sustaining freshwater European eel populations in western Scotland?. Freshwater Biology, 58: 1–9. doi: 10.1111/fwb.12021
- Issue published online: 11 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2012
- (Manuscript accepted 21 August 2012)
- Anguilla anguilla;
- population dynamics;
1. We report on freshwater resident eel numbers in western Scotland based on two time series of data, independent of each other, spanning 28 years and that do not rely upon fisheries information.
2. Data from eel captures on trash screens of a pumping station (1982–2003) on Loch Lomond and electrofishing data from a stream in Lochaber, the Allt Coire nan Con (1989–2010), are compared with similar time series eel population data from elsewhere in the British Isles and more widely in Europe.
3. Over the period of the study, indices of eel numbers from across Europe declined by between 72 and 95%; in stark contrast, neither time series from western Scotland showed evidence for decline between 1982 and 2010.
4. We provisionally conclude that freshwater populations in western Scotland are being maintained by regional processes directly related to the proximity of the leading edge of the North Atlantic Drift and the Continental Shelf Current and the direction of prevailing winds.