The drift of early life stages of Percidae and Gobiidae (Pisces: Teleostei) in a free-flowing section of the Austrian Danube

David Ramler, Harald Ahnelt, Hans Leo Nemeschkal, Hubert Keckeis

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


The drift of early development stages is an essential element of dispersal in many fish species. It is caused by a multitude of factors and is thus highly specific for each taxon and developmental stage. In this paper, we examined the drift of free embryos, larvae, and juveniles of percids and gobiids in a free-flowing stretch of the Austrian Danube. We assessed the drift density (DD) at different distances from the shore, described seasonal and diel patterns, and how size of drifting fish changed throughout the season. The seasonal patterns as well as the DDs were highly specific for each genus, while the diel patterns and changes in size of drifting fishes differed primarily at family level. In addition, we compared two opposed shorelines—a near-natural gravel bar and a rip-rap stabilized shore. The shores differed significantly and on both shores the DD of gobies was higher compared to percids. Among the Gobiidae, the invasive Neogobius species clearly dominated (99% of total gobiid catch) over the native tubenose goby Proterorhinus semilunaris. Percid DD was substantially higher on the near-natural shore, with Zingel and Sander as the most abundant genera.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-216
Number of pages18
JournalHydrobiologia: the international journal on limnology and marine sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 106020 Limnology
  • 106054 Zoology


  • Diel pattern
  • Gravel bar
  • Large river
  • Rip-rap
  • Seasonal pattern
  • Shore morphology

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