The swimming ability of neotropical fish species is an important aspect for fish ladder designs. Especially in Latin America, where fish ladders are highly selective, fish strategies to negotiate the passage should be studied focusing on target species. This paper shows the swimming ability of three neotropical species (Leporinus reinhardti, Pimelodus maculatus and Prochilodus costatus), from São Francisco river basin. Respirometer was employed for data collection. Regarding the critical and prolonged speeds, L. reinhardti was the fastest among the three neotropical species in relative values (body length/second). The performance of neotropical species was better when compared to critical and maximum prolonged speeds of fish species from temperate areas. Finally, regarding the experimental procedures, the optimization of swimming speed in respirometer is lower than the optimal processes obtained with free swimming in open channels.
Fish ladders; Leporinus reinhardti; Pimelodus maculatus; Prochilodus costatus; Swimming ability