Fishery Resources, Environment, and Conservation in the Mississippi and Yangtze (Changjiang) River Basins

Current Fish Resources in the Upper Reach of the Yangtze River and Conservation Strategies

Xin Gao and Huangzhang Liu


Abstract.—In this paper, we report fish resources in the upper reach of the Yangtze River from 2011 to 2012. The five sampling locations were Yibin, Hejiang, Mudong, Wanzhou, and Zigui. Yibin and Hejiang are the most upstream locations; Mudong is at the upper end of the Three Gorges Reservoir while Wanzhou and Zigui are in the inundated areas of the Three Gorges Reservoir. During our investigations, we collected 56, 94, 93, 67, and 64 fish species, respectively, from these five locations. Among them, 13, 21, 17, 4, and 4 are endemic to the upper Yangtze River. Catch per unit effort calculated with pooled data were 1,221.6–6,433.9 g/(d• boat). Because Yibin and Hejiang are still in the riverine state, endemic species remain. These areas are also in the national protected areas range. We suggest that commercial fishing should be banned in these areas to protect endemic fish species. However, for Wanzhou and Zigui, because they are in the inundated reservoir area, dominance has shifted from riverine to lacustrine species. Fisheries strategies should also be changed to target on different species, employ different fishing gears, and apply different management strategies.