Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A food fish for humans (Ref. 4537).
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Distribution

Range Description

The species is widely spread in east Asia, with the Amur River being the northern border and the Lam River (Viet Nam) being the southern border of distribution range (Berg 1964, Bogutskaya and Naseka 1996, Chen et al. 1998, Kottelat 2001). It is a relatively warm water species, so it avoids mountain streams and is completely absent in the upper Amur River basin (Berg 2001). It was introduced in Uzbekistan (Kamilov and Urchinov 1995).
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Asia: China. Viet Nam (Ref. 44416). Former USSR: Siberia.
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China and Siberia.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 2000 mm TL
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Max. size

200 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4537)); max. published weight: 40.0 kg (Ref. 56557)
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Ecology

Habitat

Amur River Benthopelagic Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Amur River system. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the bottom of the water column, feeding on benthos and zooplankton

The persistence of mercury contamination in Amur River bottom sediments is a major issue, arising from historic cinnabar mining in the basin and poor waste management practises, especially in the communist Soviet era, where industrial development was placed ahead of sound conservation practises.

Other large benthopelagic river fish of the Amur Basin is the 200 cm yellowcheek (Elopichthys bambusa) and the 122 cm Mongolian redfin (Chanodichthys mongolicus)

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Yangtze River Benthopelagic Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Yangtze River system. Benthopelagic fish inhabit the water column niche immediately above the bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton.

The upper Yangtze basin consists chiefly of Paleozoic limestone and terrigenous sedimentary rock, with some granitic material. The most downstream element of the upper Yangtze basin is often termed the Sichuan Basin; here the Yangtze cuts through Triassic and Permian material before entering the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges area is a stretch of the Yangtze that runs approximately 660 kilometers, terminating at the site of the Three Gorges Dam. Prior to construction of the dam, the Three Gorges area was a site of exceptional natural beauty; after dam construction the gorge areas were filled with approximately 100 meters in depth of Yangtze water, and considerable amounts of the watershed were graded.

The lower Yangtze basin consists of anabranching river structures and Pleistocene coastal terraces. Prior to development of the Three Gorges Dam, the Yangtze Delta was replenished with a copious sediment load reaching the river mouth; however, the dam has now severely limited the natural flow and deposition of sediment to the delta region. Consequently, the integrity of the delta is been compromised, with scouring exceeding deposition, and the very stability of the delta is endangered.

Lower and middle basins of the Yangtze carry heavy pollutant loads. In the lower Yangtze basin nitrate levels are high, measuring at about 1000 tons per day at Datong; these levels accrue from high applications of chemical fertilizer applied and also considerable loadings of untreated sewage due to the large human population of the basin, with correspondingly little infrastructure for sewage treatment.

Heavy metal concentrations are also high in the lower Yangtze, with measurements of dissolved lead at 0.078 microgram/liter; cadmium (0.024 microgram/liter), chromium (0.57 microgram/liter), copper (1.9 microgram/liter), and nickel (0.50 microgram/liter). Levels of dissolved arsenic have been measured at 3.3 microgram/liter) and zinc at 1.5 microgram/liter), both notably higher by factors of 5.5 and 2.5 respectively than other typical large world rivers. In Yangtze River suspended sediment, arsenic comprises 31 microgram/gram, lead comprises 83 microgram/gram, and nickel comprises 52 micrograms/gram of sediment content

A number of other benthopelagic associates are found in the Yangtze, including: Anabarilius polylepis, Bangana rendahli, Pseudogyrinocheilus prochilus, Sinocyclocheilus grahami and Siniperca roulei. The demersal fish Silurus meridionalis also is found as a Yangtze River endemic species.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species matures at the age of six years, at which time its length can exceed 60 cm. It spawns in streams from the beginning of June to mid-August. The fish's main spawning grounds are in the mid-Amur River, Songhua and Ussuri. Fry and young fish feed in the lower Amur. After spawning, adult fish travel to the slow moving, off-channel floodplains, but winter in the main branches of these rivers. Its main food is small, pelagic fish (excluding Carp).

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: 10 - 20
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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Huckstorf, V.

Reviewer/s
Freyhof, J., Luedtke, J. & Allen, D.

Contributor/s

Justification
In some regions, this fish is known to have massively declined in the last 20-40 years, primarily due to overfishing and river modifications (e.g. dam construction). In spite of this, the species has been assessed as Data Deficient due to a lack of information regarding its population trends over the entirety of its range.
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Population

Population
Native populations have massively declined in the last 20-40 years in Russia and China. In recent years, however, the population of this species has increased (Novomodny et al. 2004).

Population Trend
Increasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Major threats to this species are overfishing, dam construction and water pollution.
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Data deficient (DD)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is not known if there are any conservation measures in place or needed.
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Wikipedia

Elopichthys bambusa

Elopichthys bambusa, the yellowcheek, is a cyprinid fish that is found in eastern Asia. It ranges from the Amur River in Russia, through China to the Lam River in Vietnam. It is considered an important food fish where it occurs, reaching up to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in length.

References [edit]

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