Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lake Billy Chinook Fish Passage Update

As the smolt migration season winds down on Oregon's Deschutes River, managers with Portland General Electric have released encouraging fish passage numbers from a project on Lake Billy Chinook. The hundred million dollar facility was initially delayed when part of the structure collapsed into the water in 2009, but last year the first year of passage more than 100,000 fish made it past the dam and this year to date more than 435,000 fish have been passed downstream of Round Butte Dam.

The success of the project still hinges of the survival of those fish at sea and the ability of adults to return to the base of the dam and ultimately be passed upstream to their natal tributaries. Many of the fish currently passing through the dam are hatchery fish which were released as juveniles, allowing scientists to estimate their survival from release past the dam. There is hope however that as adults begin returning to the Upper Deschutes in substantial numbers measures will be taken to phase out hatchery releases.

More information in the Oregonian:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone expect this to become a self sustaining fishery for steelhead and salmon using conventional hatchery fish to start the process. Has this ever worked before? What is different about this effort?