Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Lydersen, H et al. 2010. Salmon River fishway assessment study. Prepared for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Organization DFO
URL http://kintama.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/KRS-SALMON_2009_Final_Report.pdf
Abstract/Description or Keywords Executive Summary
The study reported here was done with the assistance of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,
Mainstream Biological Consulting Inc. and on-site BC Hydro personnel. The Salmon River
diversion structure potentially poses a physical barrier to upstream migrating adult coho and the
functionality of the installed fishway has been questioned. The aim of this study was to
investigate the behavior of coho upon reaching the BC Hydro diversion dam. This report is a
continuation of the study started in 2008 to examine the migration route of acoustically tagged
adult coho salmon reaching the BC Hydro diversion structure located on the Salmon River,
Vancouver Island (Lydersen et al. 2009).

In the fall 2009, 12 acoustic receivers were installed in the Salmon River, the fishway, Paterson
Creek and the BC Hydro diversion canal. Thirty adult coho were gastrically implanted with
VEMCO V13 tags, released, and their individual travel patterns from the release site identified
using these receivers.
During the ~two month study 2,348 detections were heard and 26 (of 30) tags were detected. The
last detection was on 30 Nov 2009, approximately 763 hours after release. Maintenance of the
diversion canal prevented diversion of the main river during the study period, eliminating the
possibility of adult coho migrating down the canal. Of the thirty coho tagged, none were detected
above the fishway. Nine fish were last detected in the fishway, sixteen were last detected on the
receivers downstream from the dam, and one fish was last detected on the Paterson Creek
Fourteen of the thirty tagged fish (47%) were detected in the fishway (compared to 7% in 2008);
however, since none were detected above the fishway it is unlikely that upstream passage success
was high. Extreme flows during the study period resulted in the burial of two (of three) receivers
sited in the main river above the dam, adding a degree of uncertainty to the data interpretation as
the exact time of burial cannot be established.
Information Type report
Regional Watershed Vancouver Island North
Sub-watershed if known Salmon River
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name
Contact Email