Evaluation of a naturalised rock ramp fish passage for cool- and warm-water fish in a tributary of Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron

Brent A. Murry, Andrea Ania, James Boase, Andrew S. Briggs, Justin Chiotti, Clarence Fullard, Tracy Galarowicz, Daniel Hayes, Joseph Leonardi, Gabriel Madel, Jacob Stoller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Dams across the Great Lakes basin are nearing or beyond their original design life, posing both challenges and opportunities to natural resource managers. Ageing dams can be repaired to preserve function and maintain safety, removed to promote full connectivity or retrofitted with a fish passage structure to increase connectivity without reservoir loss. The success of rock ramp structures is not well documented, especially for cool- and warm-water fishes in the Great Lakes basin. The success of a recently built (2009) rock ramp for increasing upstream fish passage on the Shiawassee River in Michigan, USA, was evaluated. While there was evidence of limited fish passage during the study period (2011–2016), catches of spring migratory fishes, fish eggs and larvae were significantly higher below the rock ramp than above, indicating the dam with rock ramp fish pass continues to limit upstream migration. Overall connectivity appears improved relative to a reference, dammed river, but falls short of full connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Keywords

  • dams
  • early life history
  • spring migration
  • stream connectivity

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