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Similar survival rates for Pacific salmon in Fraser, Columbia Rivers raises new questions
Date:10/27/2008

e salmon gathered in dam bypasses like those in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

The lower Columbia and lower Snake Rivers currently have eight major hydroelectric dams combined. During the late 1930s when the first dams began to go up, salmon survival rates began to plummet, hitting mortality highs during the 1960s and 1970s due to a combination of warmer waters, fish-grinding turbines and new predators. Since then, the U.S. government has invested in major restoration measures to improve salmon survival rates.

Current conservation efforts have focused on helping smolts pass through the hydropower system. However, the scientific team aims to clarify with future studies using POST technology whether dam passage in itself has long-term detrimental effects that impact salmon's ocean survival.

The researchers note that threats beyond the rivers are taking a heavy toll on salmon. These include habitat destruction, competition with hatchery fish, harvesting and large-scale changes in ocean climate.


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Contact: Lorraine Chan
lorraine.chan@ubc.ca
604-822-3213
University of British Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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