Population structure and reproduction of a migratory fish Leporinus piau (Characiformes: Anostomidae) in a semiarid tropical reservoir, Brazil
Migratory fishes have been seriously impacted by the building of reservoirs and because of the negative effects of these projects such as the interruption of migratory routes, reduction or elimination of spawning/feeding areas, and initial development can influence the population structure the migratory fishes, resulting in reduction in abundance. Leporinus piau is migratory fish widely distributed in the watersheds of the Brazilian semiarid and it is of importance for artisanal and sport fishing. The goal of the study was to evaluate the population structure and reproductive dynamics of the migratory species Leporinus piau in the Pau dos Ferros Reservoir, which is located in the semiarid region of Brazil. The CPUE, length structure, length-weight relationship, length at first maturity, sex ratio, gonad development and IGS were analyzed. Collections were performed quarterly between February 2011 and November 2012 using gillnets. The captured fish were counted; the standard length (cm) and total weight (g) were measured, and dissected to determine the sex and gonad maturity stage. The rainfall and reservoir water levels were recorded, and their correlations with the reproductive period and CPUE were analyzed. A total 549 individuals were captured. The average CPUE varied between 0.0259 individuals/m2*h (May/2011) and 0.0008 individuals/m2*h (August/2012), and significant differences were observed; however, significant correlations were not observed between rainfall and reservoir levels. The standard length varied between 5.9 cm and 20.7 cm, and the weight varied between 4.16 g and 271.5 g. A histogram analysis revealed that the 5-10 cm standard length class was the most abundant for juveniles and that the 10-15 cm class was the most abundant for adult females and males. The weight-length relationship was best fit by the equation log10Wt = -1.57711 + 3.00707 Log10 Ls, and the species presented isometric growth. The estimated length at first maturity was 12.76 cm. A total of 148 males and 82 females were collected (1.81:1, M:F), and these values were significantly different. The highest GSI was observed in February 2011 for both females (10.69) and males (5.72), and the GSI was significantly and positively correlated with rainfall. We concluded that the L. piau population is established in the reservoir and found that its reproduction period occurred during the rainy season between February and May.