Monitoring upstream fish passage through a Mississippi River lock and dam reveals species differences in lock chamber usage and supports a fish passage model which describes velocity-dependent passage through spillway gates

Jean Sebastien Finger, Andrew Thomas Riesgraf, Daniel Patrick Zielinski, Peter William Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nearly 200 fish were released below Lock and Dam 2 (LD2) in the Upper Mississippi River and tracked to determine both whether and how they passed through this structure, and if passage could be explained using a computational fish passage model (FPM) which combines hydraulics with fish swimming performance. Fish were either captured and released downstream of LD2 in Pool 3 or captured in Pool 2 (upstream of LD2) and displaced below LD2. Tagged fish were tracked using 13 archival receivers located across LD2. Approximately 90% of all fish approached LD2 many times with the displaced species likely attempting to home. Of 112 common carp, 26% passed through LD2 with 15% (most) going through the lock and 6% through the spillway gates. Similar values were seen for bigmouth buffalo. In contrast, although 42% of 31 channel catfish passed through the lock, only 3% went through the gates. Finally, of 22 walleye, only 14% passed through the lock and none through the gates. Ninety percent of all documented passages through the spillway gates occurred when the gates were out of the water and water velocities through these gates were at their lowest levels, an attribute described and predicted by the FPM at LD2. This study strongly suggests that fish passage through spillway gates of LDs is determined by water velocity and can be predicted with a FPM, whereas passage through locks is determined by species-specific behavioural preferences. Both attributes could be exploited to reduce passage of invasive carp at certain locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalRiver Research and Applications
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • carp
  • displacement
  • fish passage model
  • invasive
  • lock chamber
  • open river
  • spillway gates
  • swimming performance

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