Monitoring the Movements of Juvenile Pacific Lamprey in the Yakima River using Acoustic Telemetry

Project ID: 19112
Principal Investigator: Patrick Monk
Research Topic: Fish Passage and Entrainment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2019 and 2020
Keywords: None

Research Question

The primary objectives of this project are to (1) test a non-commercially available acoustic telemetry tag designed for Pacific lamprey, and (2) to monitor the movements of juvenile lamprey in the Yakima River and in the Columbia River in order to better understand these unique fish and to inform future management actions. Entrainment of migrating lamprey in to canals and potentially through fish screens is considered a significant threat for Pacific Lamprey in the Yakima Subbasin This is the only type of study that will be able to finally provide answers about the rate of entrainment into the diversion, and rate of return through the bypass. Predation is also another critical threat for Pacific Lamprey. Recent studies on Northern Pike Minnow predation in the lower Columbia River have continuously shown that predation on juvenile Pacific Lamprey, despite the depressed numbers of lamprey, happens as frequently or more frequently than juvenile salmonid predation.

Need and Benefit

The proposed project was identified following development and funding of the juvenile salmon acoustic telemetry
study in the Yakima River. The YNF and USGS worked with Reclamation to secure project funding and to develop
and refine the study plans. As the salmonid study effort progressed, it became apparent that significant investments
were being made in the telemetry monitoring arrays for the study, and other projects could leverage those investments
by purchasing transmitters to tag and release fish. The concurrent development and testing of the JSATS compatible
lamprey tag by PNNL made an acoustic telemetry evaluation of juvenile lamprey feasible for the first time. The timing
is well aligned to use a relatively small investment in transmitters and access to a large number of monitoring arrays
(without further investment) to execute the first study of juvenile lamprey movements in the Yakima River and Mid
Columbia River. The proposed project would not be feasible without the collaboration with PNNL to allow the use of
the newly developed transmitter and without collaboration with the juvenile salmon study to allow the use of the
monitoring arrays.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 4/4/17