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Title: Factors Affecting Route Selection and Survival of Steelhead Kelts at Snake River Dams in 2012 and 2013

In 2012 and 2013, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory conducted a study that summarized the passage proportions and route-specific survival rates of steelhead kelts that passed through Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) dams. To accomplish this, a total of 811 steelhead kelts were tagged with Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System (JSATS) transmitters. Acoustic receivers, both autonomous and cabled, were deployed throughout the FCRPS to monitor the downstream movements of tagged-kelts. Kelts were also tagged with Passive Integrated Transponder tags to monitor passage through juvenile bypass systems and detect returning fish. The current study evaluated data collected in 2012 and 2013 to identify individual, behavioral, environmental and dam operation variables that were related to passage and survival of steelhead kelts that passed through FCRPS dams. Bayesian model averaging of multivariable logistic regression models was used to identify the environmental, temporal, operational, individual, and behavioral variables that had the highest probability of influencing the route of passage and the route-specific survival probabilities for kelts that passed Lower Granite (LGR), Little Goose (LGS), and Lower Monumental (LMN) dams in 2012 and 2013. The posterior probabilities of the best models for predicting route of passage ranged from 0.106 for traditional spill at LMN tomore » 0.720 for turbine passage at LGS. Generally, the behavior (depth and near-dam searching activity) of kelts in the forebay appeared to have the greatest influence on their route of passage. Shallower-migrating kelts had a higher probability of passing via the weir and deeper-migrating kelts had a higher probability of passing via the JBS and turbines than other routes. Kelts that displayed a higher level of near-dam searching activity had a higher probability of passing via the spillway weir and those that did less near-dam searching had a higher probability of passing via the JBS and turbines. The side of the river in which kelts approached the dam and dam operations also affected route of passage. Dam operations and the size and condition of kelts were found to have the greatest effect on route-specific survival probabilities for fish that passed via the spillway at LGS. That is, longer kelts and those in fair condition had a lower probability of survival for fish that passed via the spillway weir. The survival of spillway weir- and deep-spill passed kelts was positively correlated with the percent of the total discharge that passed through turbine unit 4. Too few kelts passed through the traditional spill, JBS, and turbine units to evaluate survival through these routes. The information gathered in this study describes Snake River steelhead kelt passage behavior, rates, and distributions through the FCRPS as well as provide information to biologists and engineers about the dam operations and abiotic conditions that are related to passage and survival of steelhead kelts.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1167314
Report Number(s):
PNNL--23941
400403209
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY Steelhead kelts; hydropower; survival; 3-D