Technologies Track, Map Fish Behavior

nneville Dam. The scientists discovered the juvenile salmon, also called smolt, tend to work harder as they approach the prototype bypass by swimming against the current, toward the bottom of the bypass and parallel to the bypass structure.

"This complex behavior could be caused by many factors," Johnson said, "such as noise from turbines or the existence of a new structure. While we don't know why the fish act in this manner yet, we now have the ability to develop that understanding by studying smolt behavior in great detail."

Pacific Northwest scientists looked at how fish behavior differed when the prototype bypass entrance was 1.5 meters (five feet) wide and 6.1 meters (20 feet) wide. The study indicated the effort fish exerted to get to the bypass entrance was similar regardless of entrance size.

At Bonneville Dam, Pacific Northwest scientists mounted the dual-head multibeam sonar tool on a platform immediately upstream of the dam. The device transmits sound on the horizontal sonar head while receiving echoes on the horizontal and vertical sonar heads. The sonar tool 'pings,' or sends out sounds, up to 20 times every second. The combined echoes provide a three-dimensional location of a fish for every 'ping.'

The echoes are fed into a computer system on land then sent on to a third computer, where the information is combined into files compatible with the MTrack processing software. MTrack uses algorithms to analyze data and translate it into fish positions. The data then can be displayed on an interactive three-dimensional scene graphic that replays fish movement relative to the dam and the prototype bypass.

Since 1996, Pacific Northwest scientists have done similar analysis work at Lower Granite Dam, which is operated by the Corps' Walla Walla District, on the Snake River in southeastern Washington. Scientists are continuing this work for the Corps' Portland District, which operates Bonnevil

Contact: Staci West
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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