The Paraná River is the second longest river in South America and the tenth largest river in the world in water discharge. The upper stretches are characterized by high human occupation and intense anthropogenic activities, and few areas are still in pristine conditions. Despite this, fish diversity is remarkably high in the upper Paraná River basin, and the existence of different habitats greatly influences fish biodiversity. Although most species are sedentary, migratory species are considered the most important, since they have historically sustained commercial and recreational fisheries. Recently, stocks of migratory species have diminished in many rivers due to overfishing and habitat modifications caused by dams. Impoundments have a long history in the basin and constitute the main source of impacts for both sedentary and migratory fish species. Government agencies have implemented management actions to mitigate the effects of damming on fish populations, which included fish stocking (using native and non-native species), the construction of transposition mechanisms and fishery control. However, their efficacy for conservation has been severely questioned and, in many instances, these actions have produced negative outcomes to biodiversity. The lack of studies and monitoring programs contributed to the uncritical adoption of some dubious management actions. Inevitably, management plans directed to conserve fish biodiversity in the basin need urgent revision.

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