Movements of immature hatchery-reared Mekong giant catfish Pangasianodon gigas released in the Mekong River, measured using acoustic telemetry


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Twenty-eight immature hatchery-reared Mekong giant catfish Pangasianodon gigas tagged with acoustic transmitters were released in the Mekong River, Thailand from 2002 to 2004. Twenty-four and four fish were tagged with normal transmitters and pressure-sensitive transmitters, respectively. Five to seven automated monitoring receivers were used for monitoring the post-release movements. The tagged catfish could be detected for up to 97 days, the first detection taking place at the release point, where the fish remained for several days. Sixteen tagged fish (57%) were not detected at any later point. These fish may have passed along the opposite (Laos) side of the river without notice because the width of the river was larger than the detection range of the transmitter. The remaining 12 tagged fish (43%) could be detected by the receivers installed, excluding the release point receiver. Of these 12 tagged fish, six showed long-distance (30–80 km) upstream movements and one long-distance (50 km) downstream movement. These seven fish (25%) were detected only during the daytime, suggesting that the Mekong giant catfish is diurnal.