Conservation of Migratory Fishes
Habitat fragmentation due to dams and poorly designed stream-crossings has significantly contributed to severe declines in recreational, commercial and ecologically important fish species. Because there are tremendous variations in the swimming ability and behavior of migratory fish, their life histories and physiologies, in the size and structure of dams, and in the rivers themselves, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ fish passage structure. The Center’s unique laboratory and diverse scientific disciplines supports a multi-faceted approach to migratory fish conservation focusing on the design and evaluation of fish passage structures, fish performance, physiology, behavior, ecology and energetics and incorporates mathematical models of fish distributions, using animations readily understood by managers and the public. The ability of fish to successfully use fishways, and complete their migration and reproductive cycles, is determined through physiological assessments of their ability to move between rivers and oceans, and their ability to reproduce as conditions change in rivers (temperature and flow rate) and coastal waters (ocean acidification, salinity, temperature).