The first visit on the mountainous areas of Acheloos and Arachtos river basins took place on early September under the framework of ECOFLOW project. The Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters (IMBRIW) together with the Faculty of Geology and Geo-Environment of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the consultancy company of D. Argyropoulos & associates and AVMAP GIS A.E. has undertaken the ECOFLOW project funded by the Hellenic General Secretariat of Research and Technology in the framework of the NSRF 2007-2013.
The purpose of the four days fieldtrip was mainly to train HCMR personnel on how to apply a methodology which uses fishes and their habitat requirements for estimating environmentally-acceptable flow regimes below dams and water abstraction points. The training was offered by a specialist on this methodology, Dr. Fransisco Martinez-Capel from the Technical University of Valencia.
The field team inspected 12 sites in several upland tributaries of the Acheloos and Aracthos Rivers. This is the first time a fish-based micro-habitat suitability work has been officially researched by a scientific snorkeling method in Greece. The desired objective should be the determination of the relations between usable habitat and stream discharge for representative fish species in order to establish guidelines for setting environmental flow standards.
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The areas of the visit were chosen mainly because the systems are in a relatively undisturbed condition (reference conditions) but also because there is an intense interest during the recent years on the construction of small hydroelectric plants in the mountainous parts of the rivers.
The fishes we observed in the mountain streams are the following:
- Salmo fariodes – ENDEMIC to Western Balkans
- Barbus peloponnesius – ENDEMIC to Ionian Ecoregion
- Telestes pleurobipunctatus – ENDEMIC to Ionian Ecoregion
- Squalius peloponnensis – ENDEMIC to Ionian Ecoregion