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Multibeam sonar (DIDSON) assessment of American shad (Alosa sapidissima) approaching a hydroelectric dam

April 1, 2014

We investigated the fish community approaching the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River, Maine, prior to implementation of a major dam removal and river restoration project. Multibeam sonar (dual-frequency identification sonar, DIDSON) surveys were conducted continuously at the fishway entrance from May to July in 2011. A 5% subsample of DIDSON data contained 43 793 fish targets, the majority of which were of Excellent (15.7%) or Good (73.01%) observation quality. Excellent quality DIDSON targets (n = 6876) were apportioned by species using a Bayesian mixture model based on four known fork length distributions (river herring (alewife,Alosa psuedoharengus, and blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis), American shad, Alosa sapidissima) and two size classes (one sea-winter and multi-sea-winter) of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). 76.2% of targets were assigned to the American shad distribution; Atlantic salmon accounted for 15.64%, and river herring 8.16% of observed targets. Shad-sized (99.0%) and salmon-sized (99.3%) targets approached the fishway almost exclusively during the day, whereas river herring-sized targets were observed both during the day (51.1%) and at night (48.9%). This approach demonstrates how multibeam sonar imaging can be used to evaluate community composition and species-specific movement patterns in systems where there is little overlap in the length distributions of target species.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Multibeam sonar (DIDSON) assessment of American shad (<i>Alosa sapidissima</i>) approaching a hydroelectric dam
DOI 10.1139/cjfas-2013-0308
Authors Ann B. Grote, Michael M. Bailey, Joseph D. Zydlewski, Joseph E. Hightower
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Series Number
Index ID 70171348
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Leetown

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