Hydroacoustic Evaluation of Overwintering Summer Steelhead Fallback and Kelt Passage at The Dalles Dam, 2009-2010

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This report presents the results of an evaluation of overwintering summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fallback and early out-migrating steelhead kelts downstream passage at The Dalles Dam (TDA) sluiceway and turbines during fall/winter 2009 through early spring 2010. The study was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (USACE). The goal of this study was to characterize adult steelhead spatial and temporal distributions and passage rates at the sluiceway and turbines for fisheries managers and engineers to use in decision-making relative to sluiceway operations. The study was from November 1, 2009 ... continued below

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Khan, Fenton; Johnson, Gary E. & Weiland, Mark A. July 31, 2010.

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This report presents the results of an evaluation of overwintering summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fallback and early out-migrating steelhead kelts downstream passage at The Dalles Dam (TDA) sluiceway and turbines during fall/winter 2009 through early spring 2010. The study was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (USACE). The goal of this study was to characterize adult steelhead spatial and temporal distributions and passage rates at the sluiceway and turbines for fisheries managers and engineers to use in decision-making relative to sluiceway operations. The study was from November 1, 2009 to April 10, 2010. The study was divided into three study periods: Period 1, November 1 - December 15, 2009 for a fall/winter sluiceway and turbine study; Period 2, December 16, 2009 - February 28, 2010 for a turbine only study; Period 3, March 1 - April 10, 2010 for a spring sluiceway and turbine study. Sluiceway operations were scheduled to begin on March 1 for this study; however, because of an oil spill cleanup near the sluice outfall, sluiceway operations were delayed until March 8, 2010, therefore the spring study period did not commence until March 8. The study objectives were to (1) estimate the number and distribution of overwintering summer steelhead fallbacks and kelt-sized acoustic targets passing into the sluiceway and turbines at TDA between November 1 and December 15, 2009 and March 1 and April 10, 2010, and (2) estimate the numbers and distribution of adult steelhead and kelt-sized targets passing into turbine units between December 16, 2009 and February 28, 2010. We obtained fish passage data using fixed-location hydroacoustics. For Period 1, overwintering summer steelhead fallback occurred throughout the 45-day study period. A total of 879 {+-} 165 (95% CI) steelhead targets passed through the powerhouse and sluiceway during November 1 to December 15, 2009. Ninety two percent of these fish passed through the sluiceway. Run timing peaked in early December, but fish continued to pass the dam until the end of the study. Horizontal distribution data indicated that Sluice 1 is the preferred route for these fish during fallback through the dam. Diel distribution for steelhead was variable with no apparent distinct patterns. For Period 2, adult steelhead passage occurred on January 14 and 31 and February 2, 22, and 24. A total of 62 {+-} 40 (95% CI) steelhead targets passed through the powerhouse intakes during December 16, 2009 to March 7, 2010. Horizontal distribution data indicated turbine unit 18 passed the majority of fish. Fish passage occurred during morning periods. Passage did not occur during afternoon or nighttime. For Period 3, the early spring study period, overwintering summer steelhead and early out-migrating steelhead kelt downstream passage occurred throughout the 34-day study period. A total of 1,985 {+-} 234 (95% CI) kelt-size targets were estimated to have passed through the powerhouse sluiceway. Ninety-nine percent of these fish passed through the sluiceway. Run timing peaked in late March and again in early April. Horizontal distribution indicated that Sluice 1 is the preferred route for these adult salmonids as they migrate downstream through the dam. Diel distribution for steelhead was variable with no apparent distinct patterns. The results of this study strongly suggest that operating the TDA sluiceway for steelhead passage (fallbacks and kelts) during the late fall, winter, and early spring months will provide an optimal, non-turbine route for these fishes to pass the dam.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-19615
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1033466 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1033466
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc846553

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  • July 31, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 8:32 p.m.

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Khan, Fenton; Johnson, Gary E. & Weiland, Mark A. Hydroacoustic Evaluation of Overwintering Summer Steelhead Fallback and Kelt Passage at The Dalles Dam, 2009-2010, report, July 31, 2010; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc846553/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.