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Technology improves salmon passage at hydropower dams
Date:7/24/2009

SPOKANE, Wash. - Acoustic tags and numerical river models are two technologies developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that are helping improve salmon passage at the Columbia Basin's hydroelectric dams.

PNNL researchers will discuss these technologies and how they make scientific contributions to the endangered fish's survival during group technical presentations at Waterpower XVI, a conference for professionals in the hydroelectric industry. The conference will run July 27 to 30 at the Spokane Convention Center in Spokane, Wash.

Acoustic tags measure survival rates

An average of 76 percent of juvenile Chinook salmon that pass through the lower 100 miles of the Snake River and its three hydroelectric dams survived the trek in the spring of 2008, according to a joint study between PNNL and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Portland District.

The information was gathered by surgically implanting 4,140 young salmon with a tag that's part of the Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System (JSATS). The JSATS-tagged fish were released from the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, where hydrophone receivers in the river picked up small sounds, or "pings," that the tags emit. PNNL and NOAA Fisheries began developing JSATS in 2001 to determine the survival rate of subyearling Chinook salmon in the Columbia River estuary.

PNNL researcher Tom Carlson will discuss the JSATS technology and more of the study's findings during a presentation Wednesday at Waterpower XVI.

8:30-10 a.m., Wednesday, July 29, Session 2G: Solving Fish Passage Challenges. Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System (JSATS) Used to Collect Route- and Reach-Specific Mortality Information in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary. Authors: Thomas J. Carlson, PhD, Geoffrey A. McMichael, Jessica A. Carter, and Mark A. Weiland, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; M. Brad Eppard and Blaine D. Ebberts,
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Contact: Franny White
frances.white@pnl.gov
509-375-6904
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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