Entrainment of Dungeness Crab in the Desdemona Shoals Reach of the Lower Columbia River Navigation Channel

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Proposed dredging of the Columbia River has raised concerns about related impacts on Dungeness crab in the Columbia River Estuary (CRE). This study follows two major efforts, sponsored by the Portland District of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to quantify the number of crabs entrained by a hopper dredge working in the CRE. From June 2002 through September 2002, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted direct measurements of crab entrainment in the CRE from the mouth of the Columbia River (MCR, river mile -3 to +3) upriver as far as Miller Sands (river mile 21 to 24). ... continued below

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Pearson, Walter H.; Kohn, Nancy P. & Skalski, J. R. September 30, 2006.

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Proposed dredging of the Columbia River has raised concerns about related impacts on Dungeness crab in the Columbia River Estuary (CRE). This study follows two major efforts, sponsored by the Portland District of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to quantify the number of crabs entrained by a hopper dredge working in the CRE. From June 2002 through September 2002, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted direct measurements of crab entrainment in the CRE from the mouth of the Columbia River (MCR, river mile -3 to +3) upriver as far as Miller Sands (river mile 21 to 24). These studies constituted a major step in quantifying crab entrainment in the CRE, and allowed statistically bounded projections of adult equivalent loss (AEL) for Dungeness crab populations under a range of future construction dredging and maintenance dredging scenarios (Pearson et al. 2002, 2003). In 2004, PNNL performed additional measurements to improve estimates of crab entrainment at Desdemona Shoals and at Flavel Bar, a reach near Astoria that had not been adequately sampled in 2002 (Figure 1). The 2004 data were used to update the crab loss projections for channel construction to 43 ft MLLW. In addition, a correlation between bottom salinity and adult (age 2+ and 3+, >100 mm carapace width) crab entrainment was developed using 2002 data, and elaborated upon with the 2004 data. This crab salinity model was applied to forecasting seasonal (monthly) entrainment rates and AEL using seasonal variations in salinity (Pearson et al. 2005). In the previous studies, entrainment rates in Desdemona Shoals were more variable than in any of the other reaches. Pearson et al. (2005) concluded that ?the dynamics behind the variable entrainment rates at Desdemona Shoals are not fully understood,? as well as finding that juvenile crab entrainment was not significantly correlated with salinity as it was for older crab. The present study was undertaken to address the question of whether the high age 1+ entrainment rate at Desdemona Shoals in June 2002 unusual, or would it be observed again under similar conditions? PNNL and USACE personnel directly measured crab entrainment by the USACE hopper dredge Essayons working in Desdemona Shoals in June 2006. In addition to quantifying crab entrainment of all age classes, bottom salinity was directly measured in as many samples as possible, so that the relationship between crab entrainment and salinity could be further evaluated. All 2006 data were collected and analyzed in a manner consistent with the previous entrainment studies (Pearson et al. 2002, 2003, 2005).

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  • Report No.: PNNL-16139
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/896903 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 896903
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc890708

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • September 30, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 6:55 p.m.

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Pearson, Walter H.; Kohn, Nancy P. & Skalski, J. R. Entrainment of Dungeness Crab in the Desdemona Shoals Reach of the Lower Columbia River Navigation Channel, report, September 30, 2006; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc890708/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.