A semi-automated method of monitoring dam passage of American Eels Anguilla rostrata

North American Journal of Fisheries Management
By:  and 



Fish passage facilities at dams have become an important focus of fishery management in riverine systems. Given the personnel and travel costs associated with physical monitoring programs, automated or semi-automated systems are an attractive alternative for monitoring fish passage facilities. We designed and tested a semi-automated system for eel ladder monitoring at Millville Dam on the lower Shenandoah River, West Virginia. A motion-activated eel ladder camera (ELC) photographed each yellow-phase American Eel Anguilla rostrata that passed through the ladder. Digital images (with date and time stamps) of American Eels allowed for total daily counts and measurements of eel TL using photogrammetric methods with digital imaging software. We compared physical counts of American Eels with camera-based counts; TLs obtained with a measuring board were compared with TLs derived from photogrammetric methods. Data from the ELC were consistent with data obtained by physical methods, thus supporting the semi-automated camera system as a viable option for monitoring American Eel passage. Time stamps on digital images allowed for the documentation of eel passage time—data that were not obtainable from physical monitoring efforts. The ELC has application to eel ladder facilities but can also be used to monitor dam passage of other taxa, such as crayfishes, lampreys, and water snakes.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A semi-automated method of monitoring dam passage of American Eels Anguilla rostrata
Series title North American Journal of Fisheries Management
DOI 10.1080/02755947.2014.910580
Volume 34
Issue 4
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Publisher location Abingdon, England
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 8 p.
First page 702
Last page 709
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details