Predation by resident fish is known to be a substantial cause of juvenile salmonid mortality, especially in dam tailraces and outfall locations. Conditions in The Dalles Dam tailrace are unique compared to other projects on the Columbia or Snake rivers, having a complex basin with a series of downriver islands where predators are known to reside. In May-June of 1999, northern pikeminnow and smallmouth bass were sampled in the tailrace of The Dalles Dam during periods immediately following the release of PIT-tagged juvenile salmonids for survival studies. Over twice as many smallmouth bass (N = 101) were collected as northern pikeminnow (N = 40), but none of the predators had PIT tags within their gut. A laboratory study was conducted to estimate the time required for PIT tags in juvenile salmonids to be evacuated from the gut of northern pikeminnow after consuming a tagged preyfish. Evacuation rate was sensitive to temperature, with median evacuation time being 21 h at 18 oC and 30 h at 14 oC. These results suggest that field studies to estimate predator population sizes, feeding rates, or predation on specific release groups would require considerably more effort than we allocated during 1999.
|Title||Predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids in The Dalles Dam tailrace: field, laboratory, and habitat modeling studies (FY2000)|
|Authors||James H. Petersen, Craig A. Barfoot, Mindi B. Sheer|
|Publication Subtype||Federal Government Series|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Western Fisheries Research Center|