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Fish behavior and abundance monitoring near a floating surface collector in North Fork Reservoir, Clackamas River, Oregon, using multi-beam acoustic imaging sonar

November 28, 2018

An imaging sonar was used to assess the behavior and abundance of fish sized the same as salmonid smolt and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) at the entrance to the juvenile fish floating surface collector (FSC) at North Fork Reservoir, Oregon. The purpose of the FSC is to collect downriver migrating juvenile salmonids (Chinook salmon [Oncorhynchus tshawytscha], Coho salmon [Oncorhynchus kisutch], and steelhead [Oncorhynchus mykiss]) at the North Fork Dam and to safely route them around the hydroelectric projects. The objective of the imaging sonar component of this study was to assess the behaviors of both smolt and predator-size fish (smolt [60–250 millimeter] and predator 350–650 [millimeter]) observed near the FSC and to determine if the presence of predator-size fish influenced the abundance of smolt-size fish. An imaging sonar was deployed near the entrance to the FSC during the spring smolt out-migration period. The imaging sonar technology was an informative tool for assessing abundance and spatial and temporal behaviors of both smolt and predator-size fish near the entrance of the FSC. Both smolt and predator-size fish were regularly observed near the entrance, with greater abundances observed during day than during night. Behavioral differences were also observed between the two fish-size classes, with smolt-size fish traveling straighter with more directed movement, and predator-size fish generally showing more milling behavior. Additionally, the presence of predator-size fish may be effecting the abundance and direction of travel of smolt-size fish, as counts of smolt-size fish were reduced in conjunction with the presence of predator-size fish and a greater proportion of smolt-size fish were observed traveling away from the FSC when predator-size fish were present than when predator-size fish were absent. Results of modeling potential predator-prey interactions and influences indicated that both the number of juvenile fish tracks and photoperiod had the strongest effects on the number of predator fish tracks, with more predator-size fish tracks observed as the number of smolt-size fish tracks increased. Overall, the results indicate that predator-size fish are present near the entrance of the FSC, concomitant with smolt-size fish, and their abundances and behaviors indicate that they may be drawn to the entrance of the FSC because of the abundance of prey-sized fish found there.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Fish behavior and abundance monitoring near a floating surface collector in North Fork Reservoir, Clackamas River, Oregon, using multi-beam acoustic imaging sonar
DOI 10.3133/ofr20181182
Authors Collin D. Smith, John M. Plumb, Noah S. Adams
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2018-1182
Index ID ofr20181182
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center