Biological Aspects of Fishway Operation at Hydroelectric Dams




biological concerns, Columbia River, day/night samples, fish biology, fish counter, fish counting, fish facility, fish passage, history, hydroelectric, hydroelectric dams, identification, salmon, spawning


It was thought that a manual for fishway operators and fish counters should include not only operating techniques developed as a result of experience but also include general background information that would lend interest and provide a greater conception of the value of their work. Parts of this manual are an expansion of lesson material prepared by Frederick K. Cramer, then in charge of McNary fish facilities, for instruction of fish counters at the time the permanent fish facilities at McNary first went into operation in the spring of 1954. The brief history of the Columbia River fishery summarizes some of the main developments in the fishery. The section on the Columbia River salmon and their spawning tributaries above John Day River outlines the present-day distribution of this spawning population. As some operators and counters may not be familiar with the fishery research on salmon problems now underway, a section is devoted to briefly describe this important work. A condensation of information concerning how fish are equipped to live in their environment is given for general background purposes. The section on identification of fishes contains not only formalized or technical descriptions but also the more informal devices that counters actually use to identify these fishes as they pass over the counting board. Fish counting techniques generally include those results gained from experience that make counting more efficient and result in the least impediment to fish passage. Various counting schedules are presented in the belief that, with these proven schedules as a guide, the job of adopting a schedule at a new project will be considerably simplified. Finally, a summary of experience concerning operation of fish facilities is presented in the final section.

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