Endangered river fish: threats and conservation options

Colorado River in the Grand Canyon by Craig Paukert.

Globally, riverine fish face many threats associated with human activity including altered hydrology, migration barriers, fisheries exploitation, riparian and flood plain alteration, environmental change, and introduction of invasive species. Collectively, these threats have made riverine fish some of the most threatened taxa on the planet. This special issue explores the range of threats facing riverine fish, with a focus on species or large river systems that are particularly imperilled. In addition, it examines various alternatives available to conserve and restore endangered river fish populations and riverine ecosystems (e.g.use of aquatic protected areas, co-management and stakeholder engagement, refinements in flows, restoration of connectivity, control of non-native fishes). Contributions span large river-resident and diadromous fish species which are not only listed as endangered by federal governments or international organizations, but have been defined by local and regional agencies as imperilled. Case studies from around the globe integrate the science and practice of river fish conservation and environmental management.


The Theme Section is now complete. In recognition of the importance of this topic, Inter-Research has made all articles freely available to the scientific community by granting Open Access without cost to authors.


Articles belonging to this Theme Section were published upon completion in the respective issue of ESR. They are listed below as well as on the contents page of issues of publication.


Editors: Dr. Steven Cooke, Carleton University, Canada (Responsible Editor; Steven_Cooke(at)carleton.ca); Dr. Craig Paukert, USGS/University of Missouri (Guest Editor; paukertc(at)missouri.edu); Dr. Zeb Hogan, University of Nevada/National Geographic (Guest Editor; zebhogan(at)cabnr.unr.edu)



Cooke SJ, Paukert C, Hogan Z

OVERVIEW: Endangered river fish: factors hindering conservation and restoration

ESR 17:179-191 | Full text in pdf format


Hasler CT, Donaldson MR, Sunder RPB, Guimond E, Patterson DA, Mossop B, Hinch SG, Cooke SJ

Osmoregulatory, metabolic, and nutritional condition of summer-run male Chinook salmon in relation to their fate and migratory behavior in a regulated river

ESR 14:79-89 | Full text in pdf format


Thiem JD, Binder TR, Dawson JW, Dumont P, Hatin D, Katopodis C, Zhu DZ, Cooke SJ

Behaviour and passage success of upriver-migrating lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens in a vertical slot fishway on the Richelieu River, Quebec, Canada

ESR 15:1-11 | Full text in pdf format


Kemp A

Comparison of embryological development in the threatened Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri from two sites in a Queensland river system

ESR 15:87-101 | Full text in pdf format


Hahn L, Agostinho AA, English KK, Carosfeld J, da Câmara LF, Cooke SJ

Use of radiotelemetry to track threatened dorados Salminus brasiliensis in the upper Uruguay River, Brazil

ESR 15:103-114 | Full text in pdf format


Baisez A, Bach JM, Leon C, Parouty T, Terrade R, Hoffmann M, Laffaille P

Migration delays and mortality of adult Atlantic salmon Salmo salar en route to spawning grounds on the River Allier, France

ESR 15:265-270 | Full text in pdf format


Lintermans M

Managing potential impacts of reservoir enlargement on threatened Macquaria australasica and Gadopsis bispinosus in southeastern Australia

ESR 16:1-16 | Full text in pdf format


Drauch Schreier A, Rodzen J, Ireland S, May B

Genetic techniques inform conservation aquaculture of the endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus

ESR 16:65-75 | Full text in pdf format


Jepsen N, Deacon M, Koed A

Decline of the North Sea houting: protective measures for an endangered anadromous fish

ESR 16:77-84 | Full text in pdf format


Koehn JD, Lintermans M

A strategy to rehabilitate fishes of the Murray-Darling Basin, south-eastern Australia

ESR 16:165-181 | Full text in pdf format


Mateus CS, Rodríguez-Muñoz R, Quintella BR, Alves MJ, Almeida PR

REVIEW: Lampreys of the Iberian Peninsula: distribution, population status and conservation

ESR 16:183-198 | Full text in pdf format


Butler GL, Wooden IJ

Dietary habits of a large, long-lived endangered Australian percichthyid, the eastern freshwater cod Maccullochella ikei

ESR 16:199-209 | Full text in pdf format


Schloesser JT, Paukert CP, Doyle WJ, Hill TD, Steffensen KD, Travnichek VH

Heterogeneous detection probabilities for imperiled Missouri River fishes: implications for large-river monitoring programs

ESR 16:211-224 | Full text in pdf format


Spindler BD, Chipps SR, Klumb RA, Graeb BDS, Wimberly MC

Habitat and prey availability attributes associated with juvenile and early adult pallid sturgeon ­occurrence in the Missouri River, USA

ESR 16:225-234 | Full text in pdf format


Pasbrig CA, Koupal KD, Schainost S, Hoback WW

Changes in range-wide distribution of plains ­topminnow Fundulus sciadicus

ESR 16:235-247 | Full text in pdf format


McRae CJ, Warren KD, Shrimpton JM

Spawning site selection in interior Fraser River coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch: an imperiled population of anadromous salmon from a snow-dominated watershed

ESR 16:249-260 | Full text in pdf format


Walter RP, Hogan JD, Blum MJ, Gagne RB, Hain EF, Gilliam JF, McIntyre PB

Climate change and conservation of endemic amphidromous fishes in Hawaiian streams

ESR 16:261-272 | Full text in pdf format


Paragamian VL

Kootenai River white sturgeon: synthesis of two decades of research

ESR 17:157-167 | Full text in pdf format


Knight JT, Arthington AH, Holder GS, Talbot RB

Conservation biology and management of the endangered Oxleyan pygmy perch Nannoperca oxleyana in Australia

ESR 17:169-178 | Full text in pdf format