Monitoring of the effectiveness of the artificial breeding, of the rearing and of the repopulation activities: the actions D.1 and D.2
Action D.1 is dedicated to the monitoring of the effectiveness of the pilot activity (included in action C.3) of reproducing and breeding of Rutilus pigus and Chondrostoma soetta in the renovated hatchery of CNR-ISE.
Monitoring protocols include: checking suitability of chemical and physical parameters to rearing conditions for the two species (both for adults and larvae), conditions of fish (all development stages) reared (bi-monthly measurement of total length and total weight), presence of abnormalities due to unbalance of food/metabolism, parasites. The development and hatching success will be also monitored through a day by day count of white (dead) eggs in zug jars, numbers of larvae produced daily, etc. Data will be compared with relative fecundity of both species as indicated in the literature. Also these parameters will be compared with those available from other research and conservation projects included in the network activities. All the information achieved will be collected in one lab book that will be the base to produce a reference publication.
The action of monitoring is necessary to assess the effectiveness of the pilot activities dedicated to the artificial breeding and rearing of Rutilus pigus and Chondrostoma soetta.
Action D.2 is dedicated to the monitoring of the success of the repopulation activities of Salmo marmoratus in SPA IT1140017 Fiume Toce, Cottus gobio, Telestes muticellus and Austropotamobius pallipes in SCI IT1140011Valgrande and R. San Bernardino (Action C.2), and Chondrostoma soetta and Rutilus pigus in SPA IT1140013 Lago di Mergozzo and Mont’Orfano (Action C.3).
A significant portion of the fish specimens used for repopulation (at least 500 Salmo marmoratus, 200 Cottus gobio and Telestes muticellus) will be marked with RFIDs Pit tag, elestomers or other suitable markers. RFIDs Pit Tag will be used on the marble trout due to the fact that it can reach suitable dimensions quite fast. Furthermore the marble trout is a species with a long life cycle, hence marked species cab be monitored for many years. Already during the action A.2 all the specimens of marble trout with a length higher than 25 cm captured during the samplings will be marked. The date and the tag code will be registered. Also, a part of the fish produced in the hatchery will be grown up to a suitable size, marked and released in the wild. It will be possible then to analyse the different behaviour of the wild and reared fish. Fish monitoring will be carried on in the R. San Bernardino and the R. Toce. Data from River Toce will be cross-compared with those coming from the in-site monitoring at the fish passages of Lago Tana and Prata.
The Cottus gobio and Telestes muticellus will be marked with elastomers or suitable Pit Tags.
Whilst monitoring of fish of running water will be carried on by means of electrofishing, the monitoring of fish species introduced in Lago di Mergozzo, the Rutilus pigus and the Chrondrostoma soetta, will be carried on mainly with the contribution of local anglers, recreational divers and personel of CNR-ISE (divers). They will be involved in the monitoring by compiling a specific statistic, including the date of capture and the size of the fish. These informations will enable to follow the population dynamics of these species not only during the project implementation but also duringthe Post LIFE period.
The monitoring of the crayfish introductions will be done by an external specialized pro.
The monitoring of the success of the repopulation of Salmo marmoratus will be done in SPA IT1140017 Fiume Toce, whilst Cottus gobio, Telestes muticellus and Austropotamobius pallipes in SCI IT1140011Val Grande and R. San Bernardino (Action C.2). Monitoring of Chondrostoma soetta and Rutilus pigus will be done in SPA IT1140013 Lago di Mergozzo and Mont’Orfano (Action C.3).