Columbia River

Dam owners have to coddle fish

Volume: 
Vol. 231(3) 22-25
Year: 
1993
Abstract: 

Fish and hydroelectric dams are striving to coexist across the country. With conservation groups as well as state and federal agencies pressing for severe controls on water releases, hydropower production has been cut substantially in many cases. At the same time, dam operators have undertaken some sophisticated construction programs to meet the challenge. To date, many strategies employed on the Columbia and Snake Rivers have been both costly and ineffective. The Army Corps of Engineers is trying to address its problems partly with extensive model studies. But, they have found that "the more you learn, the more complicated it gets." Together the failures of the Corps, as well as other federal agencies have caused the power utilities to call for reductions in spending for all fish programs, which they say are ineffective.

Author(s): 

Soast , A. , King , H.

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Notes: 

American Rivers produced abstract

Category: 

Chapter 9: Dams and mitigation of their effects

Volume: 
Nat'l Acad. Press, Washington, DC
Year: 
1996
Abstract: 

This paper examines the effects of dam construction and operation in the Columbia River Basin on salmon populations. While the hydrograph of the Columbia River has been significantly impacted by dams, the seasonality of regulated flow on the Snake River has been less affected. The Snake River storage has been used for agricultural diversion while the Columbia has been for electrical generation. The reservoir system has effects on flow velocities, water chemistry (nitrogen supersaturation), habitat availability and reliability, and stream temperatures. Dams block about one third of the Columbia River watershed to access by anadromous fish.
Effects of Dams on Salmon;
Fish kills occur as a result of several characteristics of dams. Bruising, descailing, and stress caused by by-pass facilities; susceptibility to prey following delivery from by-pass to outfall; estuary damage; effects on the homing ability of fish; limited success in fish use of by-pass facilities. The effect of migration speed on smolt survival is uncertain but assumed to have an impact. More research is necessary.
Mitigation of Dam's Effects on Salmon:
Seven measures for mitigation of dams' effects on salmon are discussed
1. Fish passage facilities 2. Predator control 3. Transportation 4. Spill 5. Flow augmentation 6. Reservoir drawdown 7. Dam removal.

Author(s): 

National Research Council , NRC

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