Acoustic Imaging Evaluation of Juvenile Salmonid Behavior in the Immediate Forebay of the Water Temperature Control Tower at Cougar Dam, 2010

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This report presents the results of an evaluation of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) behavior at Cougar Dam on the south fork of the McKenzie River in Oregon in 2010. The study was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The overall goal of the study was to characterize juvenile salmonid behavior and movement patterns in the immediate forebay of the Water Temperature Control (WTC) tower of the dam for USACE and fisheries resource managers use in making decisions about bioengineering designs for long-term structures and/or operations to facilitate safe downstream passage ... continued below

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Khan, Fenton; Johnson, Gary E.; Royer, Ida M.; Phillips, Nathan RJ; Hughes, James S.; Fischer, Eric S. et al. April 1, 2012.

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This report presents the results of an evaluation of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) behavior at Cougar Dam on the south fork of the McKenzie River in Oregon in 2010. The study was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The overall goal of the study was to characterize juvenile salmonid behavior and movement patterns in the immediate forebay of the Water Temperature Control (WTC) tower of the dam for USACE and fisheries resource managers use in making decisions about bioengineering designs for long-term structures and/or operations to facilitate safe downstream passage for juvenile salmonids. We collected acoustic imaging (Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar; DIDSON) data from March 1, 2010, through January 31, 2011. Juvenile salmonids (hereafter, called 'fish') were present in the immediate forebay of the WTC tower throughout the study. Fish abundance index was low in early spring (<200 fish per sample-day), increased in late April, and peaked on May 19 (6,039 fish). A second peak was observed on June 6 (2904 fish). Fish abundance index decreased in early June and remained low in the summer months (<100 fish per sample-day). During the fall and winter, fish numbers varied with a peak on November 10 (1881 fish) and a minimum on December 7 (12 fish). A second, smaller, peak occurred on December 22 (607 fish). A univariate statistical analysis indicated fish abundance index (log10-transformed) was significantly (P<0.05) positively correlated with forebay elevation, velocity over the WTC tower intake gate weirs, and river flows into the reservoir. A subsequent multiple regression analysis resulted in a model (R2=0.70) predicting fish abundance (log-transformed index values) using two independent variables of mean forebay elevation and the log10 of the forebay elevation range. From the approximate fish length measurements made using the DIDSON imaging software, the average fish length during early spring 2010 was 214 {+-} 86 mm (standard deviation). From May through early November, the average fish length remained relatively consistent (132 {+-} 54 mm), after which average lengths increased to 295 {+-} 148 mm for mid-November though early December. From mid-December through January the average fish length decreased to 151 {+-} 76 mm. Milling in front of the WTC tower was the most common fish behavior observed throughout the study period. Traversing along the front of the tower, east-to-west and west-to-east, was the next common behavior. The percentage of fish events showing movement from the forebay to the tower or from the tower to the forebay was generally low throughout the spring, summer, and early fall (0 to 30% for both directions combined, March through early November). From mid-November 2010 through the end of the study (January 31, 2011), the combined percentages of fish moving into and out of the tower were higher (25 to 70%) than during previous months of the study. Schooling behavior was most distinct in the spring. Schooling events were present in 30 to 96% of the fish events during that period, with a peak on May 19. Schooling events were also present in the summer, but at lower numbers. With the exception of some schooling in mid-December, few to no schooling events were observed in the fall and winter months. Diel distributions for schooling fish during spring and fall months indicate schooling was concentrated during daylight hours and no schooling was observed at night. However, in December, schooling occurred at night, after midnight, and during daylight hours. Predator activity, most likely bull trout or rainbow trout according to a USACE biologist, was observed during late spring, when fish abundance index and schooling were highest for the year, and again in the fall months when fish events increased from a summer low. No predator activity was observed in the summer, and little activity occurred during the winter months.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20625 FINAL
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1042547 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1042547
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834745

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  • April 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 2:25 p.m.

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Khan, Fenton; Johnson, Gary E.; Royer, Ida M.; Phillips, Nathan RJ; Hughes, James S.; Fischer, Eric S. et al. Acoustic Imaging Evaluation of Juvenile Salmonid Behavior in the Immediate Forebay of the Water Temperature Control Tower at Cougar Dam, 2010, report, April 1, 2012; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834745/: accessed August 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.