Behavior and dam passage of juvenile Chinook salmon and juvenile steelhead at Detroit Reservoir and Dam, Oregon, March 2012-February 2013

Open-File Report 2014-1144
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
By: , and 

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Abstract

The in-reservoir movements and dam passage of individual juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were studied at Detroit Reservoir and Dam, near Detroit, Oregon, during 2012 and 2013. The goal of the study was to provide data to inform decisions about future downstream passage alternatives and factors affecting downstream passage rates with the existing dam configuration. In 2012, 468 juvenile Chinook salmon and 200 juvenile steelhead were tagged and released during a 3-month period in the spring, and another 514 juvenile Chinook salmon were tagged and released during a 3-month period in the fall. The fish were surgically implanted with a small acoustic transmitter with an expected life of about 3 months and a passive integrated transponder tag with an indefinite life, and were released into the two main tributaries several kilometers upstream of the reservoir. Juvenile Chinook salmon migrated from the release sites to the reservoir in a greater proportion than juvenile steelhead, but once in the reservoir, juvenile steelhead migrated to the forebay faster and had a higher dam passage rate than juvenile Chinook salmon. The routes available for passing water and fish varied throughout the year, with low reservoir elevations in winter and high reservoir elevations in summer in accordance with the flood-control purpose of the dam. Most dam passage was through the spillway during the spring and summer, when the reservoir elevation was high and the spillway and powerhouse were the most common routes in operation, and via the powerhouse during the fall and winter period, when the reservoir elevation was low and the regulating outlet and powerhouse were the most common routes in operation. Few tagged fish passed when the powerhouse was the only route in operation. Dam passage rates during the spring and summer were greatest at night, increased with dam discharge, and were greater when water was passed freely over the spillway compared to when it was controlled by the spillway Tainter gates. Dam passage rates during the fall and winter, when the reservoir elevation usually was too low for spillway operation, were lower than during the spring and summer, negatively related to reservoir elevation, and positively related to dam discharge, though the latter relation diminished as reservoir elevation decreased. Fish locations near the dam from estimates of three-dimensional positions often were near the locations of dam discharge and fish depths were surface oriented relative to the depth of the forebay. Fish passage rates with the existing dam configuration were greatest when the spillway was in operation and were lowest when the powerhouse was the only route in operation; the latter result may be related to the relatively low magnitude or variability in discharge during that condition. The available data suggest that a properly designed surface outlet could be a viable passage route for juvenile Chinook salmon and juvenile steelhead at Detroit Dam. A second year of data collection based on a similar study design was complete at the time of this report.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Behavior and dam passage of juvenile Chinook salmon and juvenile steelhead at Detroit Reservoir and Dam, Oregon, March 2012-February 2013
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2014-1144
DOI 10.3133/ofr20141144
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description vi, 62 p.
Time Range Start 2012-03-01
Time Range End 2013-02-28
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial Detroit Reservoir;Willamette River Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y