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The Use of Video to Monitor Columbia River Juvenile Salmonids at Bonneville and McNary Dams in 2011

Mar 31, 2016


This project sought to determine whether video technology could be used to collect information that would allow a reduction in the number of juvenile salmonids handled at Columbia Basin mainstem dams. In 2011, video systems were sent up at sites at Bonneville and McNary dams. At the Bonneville Dam juvenile bypass, video was recorded from April through October, 2011 of fish passing a viewing window we installed. A subsample of this video was reviewed and we determined that only 8.6% of the passing fish could be identified by species due to high turbidity, algae growth, the rapid speed of the fish, and the width of the area being monitored. In 2011 video and PIT tag technology was also used at the McNary Dam juvenile bypass to capture PIT tag code-imprinted video images of selected juvenile fall Chinook tagged upstream as they passed through a 10 cm diameter pipe. We detected 81 of the 86 PIT tagged fish which passed. Of the detected fish that could be positively identified, for 61.5% the presence/absence of an adipose fin could be determined and 47.8% were oriented parallel to the flow. Fish traveled through our system at up to 4.5 m/s resulting in only one to two images per fish being captured. The majority of the fish observed (56.4%) appeared to be making contact with the inside of the pipe as they passed.



Fryer, J.K. 2012. The use of video to monitor Columbia River juvenile salmonids at Bonneville and McNary dams in 2011.  2015 PIT Tag Workshop, January 27-29, 2015. Stevenson, WA.



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