Use of High Definition Imaging Sonar as a Methodology for Evaluating Native Fish Spawning Behavior and Habitat Preference in Areas Impacted by Reclamation Structures and Operations.
* Are federally listed or special concern species spawning in areas proximate to Reclamation structures?
* What are the characteristics of these areas if spawning is occurring?
* Can these spawning areas be reproduced as part of a mitigation strategy in the event of a listing or jeopardy opinion?
* Can characteristics of fish behavior be observed and provide insight into habitat preference?
This Science and Technology (S&T) Program research project seeks to evaluate Dual Frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) as a basic applied research methodology for providing fundamental information on fish and habitats affected by operations. Addressing these questions could provide managers with information on the magnitude of potential impacts to native fish as a result of Reclamation's operations, and what procedures need to take place to reduce or eliminate impacts on a site-specific basis.
Need and Benefit
Fish assemblages in the Western United States are receiving higher levels of attention due to Tribal and international water rights issues, basin storage expansion, and the presence of federally listed species. Many listed species have life history requirements that are impacted by Reclamation's operations and structures. Federally listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) can be a precursor to costly litigation that could impede water delivery to our constituents. Currently, several federally listed species are present in Reclamation managed watersheds and reservoirs, but their presence has already led to operational changes in water delivery. Continued and unimpeded water delivery in these basins may be predicated on finding ways to prevent the decline of federally listed species. DIDSON technology is capable of recording viewable fish behavior and habitat characteristics in turbid water and at night, and can be used in conjunction with biological information to reduce operational impacts.
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