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The Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Group
Capabilities

Mike Horn, Acting Group Manager, mhorn@usbr.gov, 303-445-2203

The Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Group has significant experience and capability in the following technical areas. Scroll down or jump to sections by clicking below:

Fish and Fishery Studies
Wildlife Research and Habitat Assessment
Regulatory Assessment and Compliance
Statistics, Modeling, GIS, and General Environmental Study Services



Fish and Fishery Studies


Below -
Biologists Eric Best (right) and Rick Wydowski (left) retrieving a hoop net deployed to capture fish in the Lower Colorado River near Needles, California. Right Top - A prized sport fish and voracious predator, the smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu. Right Bottom - The shorthead redhorse, Maxostoma macrolepidotum, a sucker native to the Yellowstone River, Montana.

Biologists Eric Best (right) and Rick Wydowski (left) retrieving a hoop net deployed to capture fish in the Lower Colorado River near Needles, California.

A prized sport fish and voracious predator, the smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu.

The shorthead redhorse, Maxostoma macrolepidotum, a sucker native to the Yellowstone River, Montana

The Delta smelt, and endangered fish in the Central Valley of California.  Photo by Rene Reyes.

Left - The Delta smelt. Hypomesus transpacificus, an Endangered Species in the Central Valley of California. Photo by Rene Reyes.

Right - The razorback sucker, Xyrauchen texanus, an endangered native fish in the Colorado River Basin.
The razorback sucker, Xyrauchen texanus, an endangered native fish in the Colorado River Basin.


Fishery biologist Don Portz (left) using vertical nets installed near river diversion structures to estimate numbers and species of fish entrained in the T&Y Canal near the Tongue River, a tributary of the Yellowstone River in Southern Montana.

Left - Fishery biologist Don Portz (left) using vertical nets installed near river diversion structures to estimate numbers and species of fish entrained in the T&Y Canal near the Tongue River, a tributary of the Yellowstone River in Southern Montana.

Right - Biologists Steve Ryan (left) and Ray Bark (right) preparing to identify, measure, and weigh fish entrained at the Maxwell Canal, Oregon. We specialize in setting up temporary fish labs like this that include holding tanks and surgical facilities

Biologists Steve Ryan (left) and Ray Bark (right) preparing to identify, measure, and weigh fish entrained at the Maxwell Canal, Oregon

Below Left - The trash rack at the entrance to the Tracy Fish Collection Facility, a fish salvage facility designed to remove fish from the intake channel of the Tracy Pumping Plant. We have been performing fishery behavior and engineering research at this facility and in Denver since 1989. Click here to see the Tracy research website

.The trash rack at the entrance to the Tracy Fish Collection Facility, a fish salvage facility designed to remove fish from the intake channel of the Tracy Pumping Plant.

Oval holding tank and Archimedes lift for removing fish, Denver, Colorado.
Above Right - The experimental oval holding tank located in the hydraulics laboratory at the Denver TSC. The diagonal pipe is a fish-friendly pump called an Archimedes lift. This tank is being tested by fishery biologist Don Portz as part of his Ph.D. research to see if the oval design is less stressful to fish that are being held during salvage operations.


Right - Fish entrainment at irrigation diversion dams and canal intakes is an ongoing issue for Reclamation water projects. Here, we see the louver bypass on the T&Y Canal, Montana. We evaluated the efficiency of fish diversion at this structure with attention to local species of concern and native fish. The louver bypass on the T&Y canal, Montana.
Passive fish separator being tested with live fish at the Bureau of Reclamation Technical Service Center (TSC), Denver, Colorado.
Left -
Passive separator design model being tested in the experimental hydraulic flume with live fish in the TSC Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services Group, Denver, Colorado. Below - A mechanical fish crowder being tested in a research hydraulic flume.

A mechanical fish crowder being tested in a research flume at the Bureau of Reclamation Technical Service Center (TSC), Denver, Colorado.
Computer output from the Vaki Riverwatcher automated fish counting system. Left - Computer output from the Vaki Riverwatcher automated fish counting system showing average lengths of fish from two locations. The blue graph line is water temperature. We have experience with the installation and use of these state of the art automated fish counting devices.
Right - The DIDSON (Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar) camera is a sonar imaging device able to generate low resolution video images that can allow direct observation of fish behavior in turbid or dark waters. This is an invaluable tool for studying fish behavior structures such as crowders and separators, or for identifying predator milling or feeding behaviors. The image to the right is a still image from a DIDSON movie (click image to view movie) showing a prey fish behind a predator screen. DIDSON movies courtesy of Ed Belcher at Sound Metrics Corp.
DIDSON sonar image of an underwater fish  predator screen at the Tracy Fish Collection Facility, California.


Graph showing movements over time for seven steelhead trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, with implanted radio tags in the Yakima River and tributaries.

Left - Graph showing movements over time In the Yakima River for seven steelhead trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, with implanted radio tags.
Below Right - razorback sucker, Xyrauchen texanus, on the Colorado River with 1980's vintage radio transmitters attached. We have over 20 years experience with all currently used tracking technologies!

Splittail, Pogonichthys macrolepitodus, at the Tracy Fish Collection Facility, California, with older 1980's radio transmitters.

Right - A view of fish holding tanks at the Denver Aquaculture Facility. This fish rearing and holding faciity filters and removes toxins from water, maintains constant optimum temperature, and can be operated in recirculating or flow-through modes.
The Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Group Denver Aquaculture Facility, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado.
A deeper hypolimnetic outlet structure at Ridgway Dam creates nitrogen supersaturation in the dam releases to the Uncompahgre River.  Photo by Doug Craft..


Left -
A deeper hypolimnetic outlet structure at Ridgway Dam, Colorado, (left) creates nitrogen supersaturation in the dam releases to the Uncompahgre River. Photo by Doug Craft. We have investigated nitrogen supersaturation problems at Ridgway Dam, Navajo Dam, New Mexico, and Yellowtail Dam, Montana (below).

Yellowtail Dam, on the Bighorn River in Montana.


 

Wildlife Research and Habitat Assessments

Right - Southwestern willow flycatcher chicks in a nest found on the Rio Grande River, New Mexico. Photograph by Dave Moore. Southwestern willow flycatcher chicks in a nest found on the Rio Grande River, New Mexico.
Wildlife biologist, Dave Moore (left) measuring a spiny softshell turtle on the Rio Grande, New Mexico. Left - Wildlife biologist Dave Moore (left) counting and measuring turtles on the Rio Grande River, New Mexico. The specimen seen here is a spiny softshell turtle, Apalone spinifera.

Right - Two curious elk supervising biologist Vicky Johanson while she uses a portable GPS receiver to delineate wetland boundaries below Olympus Dam at Wapiti Meadows, Estes Park, Colorado. These data will be used to generate maps as part of a geographic information system (GIS) for the project. For more information on this project, please visit the Upper Thompson Sanitation District website. Two curious elk supervising biologist Vicky Johanson while she uses a portable GPS receiver to delineate wetland boundaries below Olympus Dam at Wapiti Meadows, Estes Park, Colorado.
Biologist Chelsie Morris (foreground) using a surveying transit to aid with habitat mapping on the Upper Lemhi River in Idaho, a tributary of the Salmon River. Left - Biologist Chelsie Morris (foreground) using a surveying transit to aid with habitat mapping on the Upper Lemhi River in Idaho, a tributary of the Salmon River.
Right - Biologist Greg Reed measures the water level in a shallow piezometer well as part of wetland evaluations near Los Lunas, New Mexico. Greg Reed measures the water level in a shallow piezometer well as part of wetland evaluations for the Los Lunas project, New Mexico.
Two-dimensional flow vector output from the IFIM modeling performed on the Middle Fork John Day River. Left - Two-dimensional flow vector output from the IFIM modeling done on the Middle Fork John Day River, part of the Columbia River watershed. This work was in response to the Biological Opinion issued in December 2000 by the National Marine Fisheries Service on the Federal Columbia River Power System. The purpose of this study was to evaluate streamflows needed for steelhead migration as part of an anadromous fisheries habitat improvement program.




Regulatory Assessment and Compliance



Statistics, Modeling, GIS, and General Environmental Study Services

An essential component of any environmental study is the use of GIS to generate overlay and project maps that reveal relationships between different variables, such as vegetation and species habitat boundaries, or between surface geology and water quality. Below - Geology map of the American River Basin, California showing volcanic rocks (red) associated with elevated mercury concentrations. Right - Project map for Lahonton Reservoir, Nevada, located in the Carson River Basin.

Geology map of the American River Basin, California, showing volcanic rocks (red) associated with mercury.
Project map for Lahonton Reservoir, Nevada, located in the Carson River Basin.
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This site updated July 8, 2014