Approach to facility and design modifications: Stress monitoring of migratory salmonids
Fisheries Bioengineering Symposium: American Fisheries Society Symposium 10
Colt J;White RJ;
American Fisheries Society
Assessments conducted at the McNary Dam fish collection and transportation system on the Columbia River and at several hatcheries suggested the appropriateness of physiological and performance measures of stress, development (smoltification), and general health for use in evaluating such facilities and their design, and in formulating rearing strategies. The ultimate performance test for an anadromous species is the return rate of adults, which often cannot be evaluated. Tag-return tests have an unacceptably long lag between the time a facility should be evaluated and the availability of the results, and many years of replication are required to sort out the effects of environmental variation. Measures of various physiological factors associated with the generalized stress response, metabolic fluxes, and osmotic balance, in concert with short-term performance tests, can provide strong insights into how facilities or management systems affect the well-being of fish. The use and values of physiological assessment based on site-specific examples, the inferences that can be drawn from such data, and cautionary notes about the potential misuse of physiological information are discussed.