The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Dams Complicate Fish Migration

Anadromous fish have it rough. Not only do these fish swim miles and miles from their natal streams out to the ocean to grow while surviving its many predators and then swim all the way back to spawn, but we also throw dams in their way to further complicate their lives. And despite huge investments to make dams more ‘fish friendly’, dams continue to block the downstream passage of fish and their offspring, ultimately leading to ecological traps and hampering efforts to restore populations.

Haley Ohms, one of TU’s science team members conducted a study while at her previous employer, University of Santa Cruz, that showed the different ways in which dams and their reservoirs can hinder downstream passage. In conjunction with NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and others, Ohms and her team found four issues with downstream passage at a dam for steelhead on the Carmel River on the central-California coast.

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