Innovative fish movement study

A lottery system for anglers in PG&E’s McCloud-Pit Hydroelectric Project area allowed us to document movement patterns and entrainment rates at two different reservoirs. Over 1,250 rainbow trout were released with a “reward” tag attached. Of these, 36% were “returned” by anglers via the automated contest phone line (1-877-MrTrout). Instead of issuing a set dollar amount for each returned tag, we held four drawings over a one year period for $500 each (total $2,000 given away) from all the “returned” fish. This is one of many studies Stillwater is leading as the prime consultant assisting PG&E with the relicensing of the McCloud-Pit Project.

A parallel telemetry study at one of the reservoirs found that nearly 80% of fish captured and removed by anglers were reported to the contest phone line. The two fish movement tracking methods allowed for the calculation of entrainment rates with 95% confidence. Study results were published in PG&E's technical memorandum published in December 2009.

Posted 22 December 2009