This paper aims to establish possible changes in the main reproductive parameters of the so‐called piau‐branco, Schizodon knerii, in three sections of the São Francisco River basin. Fish (n = 388) were captured quarterly between May 2012 and April 2013 from three sections of the São Francisco River (SFR): section 1 = Três Marias Reservoir (TMR), a lentic environment; section 2 = SFR, the first 34 km downstream of TMR, a lotic environment in which the temperature, oxygen levels, and flow are not suitable for reproduction; section 3 = SFR, 34–54 km downstream from TMR after the confluence with the Abaeté River, a lotic environment in which temperature, oxygen levels and flow are suitable for reproduction. In section 2, females and males showed lower values of total length and body weight in relation to fish from sections 1 and 3. The reproductive mode of S. knerii in sections 1 and 3 exhibited a prolonged reproductive period, parceled spawning, and a reproductive peak from January to March. In section 2, neither spawning females or spermiated males were captured, probably due to the fact that this section receives cold water with low oxygen levels from the hypolimium of the dam that presents thermal stratification in the summer. This study showed in section 2, immediately downstream of the Três Marias Reservoir, that S. knerii does not reproduce successfully.
In this study, we determined the main reproductive parameters of piau gordura, Leporinus piau, in two sections of the São Francisco River basin. Between May 2015 and April 2016, a total of 573 specimens were captured from a lentic environment (section 1), the Três Marias Reservoir (TMR), and a lotic environment (section 2), downstream of the TMR at the confluence of the São Francisco River (SFR) with the Abaeté River. Analysis of reproductive activity showed that L. piau from both sections reproduced, but females and males from section 1 exhibited higher total length, body weight, Fulton condition factor, and gonadosomatic index values, as compared to section 2. Sexual dimorphism was evident in the species, with females being larger than males. Moreover, males reached first gonadal maturation at a smaller size than females. The peak maturation/mature stage was observed in November/April for females and males in section 1 and in November/December in section 2, coinciding with high temperatures and precipitation in the region. In both sections of the river, L. piau exhibited the typical characteristics of partial spawning, with a prolonged spawning period, and preferential reproduction in lentic environments.
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