Fish Passage During Emergencies

Malfunctions and disasters can cause barriers to fish migration that result in emergency actions to restore fish passage.  Barriers to fish migration are among the most catastrophic impacts to obligatorily migratory species such as anadromous fishes because they can affect the entire population of multiple species.  This symposium will present recent examples of emergency actions to provide fish passage, the performance of those actions, and the lessons learned from the experiences.  The fracture in Wanapum Dam on the Columbia River that was discovered in February, 2014 will be highlighted as one of the most challenging emergency fish passage events in modern history.  Highlights will include: inoperability of the fish ladders due to lowered pool elevation, the emergency decision making process, the phased emergency fix that was implemented, and the performance of fixes at passing multiple runs and species of fish.  In addition, the impacts of a lowered pool to passage at the upstream Rock Island Dam will also be presented.  Species that will be addressed include multiple races of Chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, coho salmon, steelhead trout, bull trout, and Pacific lamprey.  Finally, lessons learned from emergency fish passage experiences will be compiled and presented.  Compilations of lessons can be used to improve responses to emergencies such that successful approaches can be multiplied and unsuccessful ones reduced.
Todd N. Pearsons
Todd N. Pearsons
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