Migration and spawning of female surubim (Pseudoplatystoma corruscans, Pimelodidae) in the São Francisco river, Brazil

Environmental Biology of Fishes
By: , and 



Surubim, Pseudoplatystoma corruscans, is the most valuable commercial and recreational fish in the São Francisco River, but little is known about adult migration and spawning. Movements of 24 females (9.5–29.0 kg), which were radio-tagged just downstream of Três Marias Dam (TMD) at river kilometer 2,109 and at Pirapora Rapids (PR) 129 km downstream of TMD, suggest the following conceptual model of adult female migration and spawning. The tagged surubims used only 274 km of the main stem downstream of TMD and two tributaries, the Velhas and Abaeté rivers. Migration style was dualistic with non-migratory (resident) and migratory fish. Pre-spawning females swam at ground speeds of up to 31 km day-1 in late September–December to pre-spawning staging sites located 0–11 km from the spawning ground. In the spawning season (November–March), pre-spawning females migrated back and forth from nearby pre-spawning staging sites to PR for short visits to spawn, mostly during floods. Multiple visits to the spawning site suggest surubim is a multiple spawner. Most post-spawning surubims left the spawning ground to forage elsewhere, but some stayed at the spawning site until the next spawning season. Post-spawning migrants swam up or downstream at ground speeds up to 29 km day-1 during January–March. Construction of proposed dams in the main stem and tributaries downstream of TMD will greatly reduce surubim abundance by blocking migrations and changing the river into reservoirs that eliminate riverine spawning and non-spawning habitats, and possibly, cause extirpation of populations.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Migration and spawning of female surubim (Pseudoplatystoma corruscans, Pimelodidae) in the São Francisco river, Brazil
Series title Environmental Biology of Fishes
DOI 10.1007/s10641-006-9141-1
Volume 80
Issue 4
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher Springer
Description 13 p.
First page 421
Last page 433
Country Brazil
Other Geospatial Sao Francisco River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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