Effects of instream structures on Kirikuchi charr, southernmost population of genus Salvelinus, in a small mountain stream of Japan


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ABSTRACT:  The changes in physical habitats and responses of fish, e.g. the Kirikuchi charr Salvelinus leucomaenis japonicus, were examined by placing instream structures in a stream on the upper drainage of the Totsu River system of the Kii Peninsula, Japan, over a two-year period. Instream structures created pools below the structures, and these pools have maintained their functions as fish habitats over two years. In two treatment sections, sections A and B (some red-spotted masu salmon were removed in advance in section B), mean water depth increased soon after placing the structures, but decreased over two years. Mean water velocity slowed after placing the structures in both sections. Total fish abundance has been relatively high at the two treatment sections compared with a control section after placing the structures. Age 1 Kirikuchi charr, however, increased only in section B. These results indicate that instream structures can serve as habitat enhancement for fish, including Kirikuchi charr, in the study area if other appropriate habitat factors for respective species are taken into consideration.