Laboratory Studies on the Rheotaxis of Fish under Different Attraction Flow Conditions

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 May 9;19(9):5744. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19095744.


The damming of the river changes the structure of the original river ecosystem, and although fish passage plays an important role in maintaining the connectivity of the river ecosystem, the fish have difficulty finding the fish passage entrance during the upstream process. This paper studied the rheotaxis of fish under three different water flow conditions experimentally through recirculating water tanks. To better understand the response of Crucian carp (Carassius auratus) to water flow stimulation, the representative swimming trajectory, sensing success rate, attraction success rate, reaction time, and attraction time of the fish were analyzed by using a video monitoring system. The experimental results showed that fish responded differently to single-peak and lateral bimodal outflow conditions: (1) the single-peak outflow condition had a much better attraction effect than the lateral bimodal outflow condition, both in terms of sensing success rate and attraction success rate; (2) the fish swam mainly in the middle area of the lateral bimodal outflow condition, while the fish swam more evenly in the single-peak outflow condition. Therefore, setting the attraction current at the right time and near the entrance of the fish passage may help to improve the effect of fish attraction.

Keywords: attraction flow; fish passage entrance; rheotaxis; river restoration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carps*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Rivers
  • Swimming
  • Water


  • Water

Grant support

This research was funded by Research on fish passage engineering technology for Yangtze-to-Huaihe Water Diversion, grant number YJJH-ZT-ZX-2019.