Developments in transportation from dams to improve juvenile salmonid survival


J B. Athearn

Publication Date



ISBN 0-913235-72-5

Publication Title

Fisheries Bioengineering Symposium: American Fisheries Society Symposium 10

Start Page


End Page



Colt J;White RJ;

Publication Place

Bethesda, MD


American Fisheries Society


Transportation of migrating smolts was first considered in the late 1960s to protect declining stocks of Snake and Columbia river salmon Oncorhynchus spp. and steelhead O. mykiss that were suffering lower survival rates during a period of increased hydroelectric development and degraded inriver passage conditions. Research conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service showed higher adult return rates from transported groups of smolts than from smolts that migrated in the river. Mass transportation, including the use of barges, to protect large numbers of outmigrants began as a response to the 1977 drought. Because of predicted low river flows and resultant adverse outmigration conditions, all smolts that could be collected at Lower Granite. Success of that operation in terms of both fish survival and demonstration of mass transportation as a viable alternative to poor inriver passage conditions, supported by continued positive research results, led to conversion of the research program to a fully operational mode in 1981. Major improvements to facilities and operational methods are discussed.

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