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Environmental and anthropogenic correlates of migratory speeds among Atlantic salmon smolts

Harbicht, Andrew B. ; Nilsson, P. Anders LU ; Österling, Martin and Calles, Olle (2021) In River Research and Applications 37(3). p.358-372
Abstract

Dams, weirs, and hydropower facilities are often cited as migratory barriers which impart significant reductions in fitness among migratory fish species. Even where upstream and downstream passage options are available, barrier passage can still often result in energetic or physical costs which compound delays or cause mortality. Past studies have identified variables associated with such fitness reductions, though few examine their effects in the context of the whole river scale. To this end, we assessed the migratory rates and downstream passage of radio-tagged Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts through nine river sections (including two reservoir sections and one dammed section) along a 20 km stretch of river. Migration stoppages... (More)

Dams, weirs, and hydropower facilities are often cited as migratory barriers which impart significant reductions in fitness among migratory fish species. Even where upstream and downstream passage options are available, barrier passage can still often result in energetic or physical costs which compound delays or cause mortality. Past studies have identified variables associated with such fitness reductions, though few examine their effects in the context of the whole river scale. To this end, we assessed the migratory rates and downstream passage of radio-tagged Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts through nine river sections (including two reservoir sections and one dammed section) along a 20 km stretch of river. Migration stoppages were not found to be elevated in reservoir or dammed sections, while migration rates were best described by physical river properties (width), biological traits (smolt total length), and seasonal variables (diel period) rather than anthropogenic factors. These results suggest the negative effect of reservoirs may primarily be due to their influence on river width and may be negligible when width is largely unaffected by an impoundment. Similarly, spilling water during fish migrations as a mitigative measure appears to make delays negligible. These conditions and actions may not completely marginalize the effect of dams, however, as a negative trend was still observed resulting from passage effects at the dam.

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author
; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
anthropogenic delay, migration barriers, Salmo salar, smolt, time-to-event analysis
in
River Research and Applications
volume
37
issue
3
pages
358 - 372
publisher
John Wiley and Sons
external identifiers
  • scopus:85098069592
ISSN
1535-1459
DOI
10.1002/rra.3760
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
522ff9b2-5afa-480d-87c1-6bb90ef4f476
date added to LUP
2021-01-11 11:11:08
date last changed
2021-04-16 17:28:16
@article{522ff9b2-5afa-480d-87c1-6bb90ef4f476,
  abstract     = {<p>Dams, weirs, and hydropower facilities are often cited as migratory barriers which impart significant reductions in fitness among migratory fish species. Even where upstream and downstream passage options are available, barrier passage can still often result in energetic or physical costs which compound delays or cause mortality. Past studies have identified variables associated with such fitness reductions, though few examine their effects in the context of the whole river scale. To this end, we assessed the migratory rates and downstream passage of radio-tagged Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts through nine river sections (including two reservoir sections and one dammed section) along a 20 km stretch of river. Migration stoppages were not found to be elevated in reservoir or dammed sections, while migration rates were best described by physical river properties (width), biological traits (smolt total length), and seasonal variables (diel period) rather than anthropogenic factors. These results suggest the negative effect of reservoirs may primarily be due to their influence on river width and may be negligible when width is largely unaffected by an impoundment. Similarly, spilling water during fish migrations as a mitigative measure appears to make delays negligible. These conditions and actions may not completely marginalize the effect of dams, however, as a negative trend was still observed resulting from passage effects at the dam.</p>},
  author       = {Harbicht, Andrew B. and Nilsson, P. Anders and Österling, Martin and Calles, Olle},
  issn         = {1535-1459},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {358--372},
  publisher    = {John Wiley and Sons},
  series       = {River Research and Applications},
  title        = {Environmental and anthropogenic correlates of migratory speeds among Atlantic salmon smolts},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rra.3760},
  doi          = {10.1002/rra.3760},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2021},
}