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Title: Assessment of Subyearling Chinook Salmon Survival through the Federal Hydropower Projects in the Main-Stem Columbia River

High survival through hydropower projects is an essential element in the recovery of salmonid populations in the Columbia River. It is also a regulatory requirement under the 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion (BiOp) established under the Endangered Species Act. It requires dam passage survival to be ≥0.96 and ≥0.93 for spring and summer outmigrating juvenile salmonids, respectively, and estimated with a standard error ≤ 0.015. An innovative virtual/paired-release design was used to estimate dam passage survival, defined as survival from the face of a dam to the tailrace mixing zone. A coordinated four-dam study was conducted during the 2012 summer outmigration using 14,026 run-of-river subyearling Chinook salmon surgically implanted with acoustic micro-transmitter (AMT) tags released at 9 different locations, and monitored on 14 different detection arrays. Each of the four estimates of dam passage survival exceeded BiOp requirements with values ranging from 0.9414 to 0.9747 and standard errors, 0.0031 to 0.0114. Two consecutive years of survival estimates must meet BiOp standards in order for a hydropower project to be in compliance with recovery requirements for a fish stock.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
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Journal Name: North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 34(4):741-752
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States