Diel movement of bullhead (**Cottus perifretum**) in a lowland stream
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Ecology of freshwater fish. - Oxford
, p. 453-460
University of Antwerp
Passive integrated transponder tags have been successfully applied in Cottus spp. and have enabled researchers to gather more information about the movement patterns of individual fish in the wild. In two succeeding years during springtime, a portable antenna was used to determine diel movements of bullhead (Cottus perifretum). In 2007, bullhead (N = 26) moved significantly farther distances at night (mean, 0.42 m·h−1) and dawn (mean, 0.35 m·h−1) than during daytime (mean, 0.11 m·h−1; mixed model, P < 0.001, respectively; P = 0.001), which may be due to foraging activities for Gammarus spp. Irrespective of diel period, smaller fish covered significantly longer distances (P = 0.001). In 2008, similar diel movement patterns were observed, but the differentiation between daytime (mean, 0.12 m·h−1) and night periods (mean, 0.18 m·h−1) was not significant (mixed model, P = 0.087; N = 49 bullhead). It is discussed that longer tracking intervals used in 2008 (three times per 24-h instead of every two hours) were not suitable to detect the sheer magnitude of distances covered during a diel period. It is shown that this may be due to site fidelity of some individuals: after swimming several metres at night, they returned to the exact location they previously occupied during daytime. In 2008, sex and body size were not related to diel movement. The present study is the first to present a quantitative differentiation between diel distances covered in a Cottus spp.