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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P52) Assessing Upstream Fish Migration Patterns Using a Prototype Fish Ladder Around a Low-Head Dam in Northern Indiana

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AUTHORS. Cassandra Root, Kevin Pangle – Department of Biology, Central Michigan University; Brian Kynard, Boyd Kynard – B-K Riverfish LLC; Herb Manifold, Jerry Sweeten– Ecosystems Connections Institute LLC

ABSTRACT. Low-head dams inhibit the upstream migration of fish and other aquatic organisms, effectively segmenting riverine fish populations by preventing upstream migration by fish but allowing downstream migration past the dam. In order to reconnect segmented populations  and allow natural upstream fish migrations, some low-head dams can be removed, and when this is not possible, an upstream fishway can be installed at the dam.  The Stockdale Mill dam, built in 1857 and restored to working condition in 2003, is located on the Eel River near Roann, Indiana. Because the mill has historical designation, the dam will not be removed.  To allow fish migration upstream, a one-of-a kind steel fish ladder with multiple side-baffles was designed to allow the ascent of diverse fish species from 2-24 inches. The fish ladder was installed in August 2017. After installation, fish were tagged using passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags at multiple locations within the river. An antenna system was installed to track the movement of PIT-tagged fish that approach the ladder and successfully completes ladder. The fish ladder began operation in November 2017 to allow fish to migrate upstream for the first time in over 150 years. A fish trap was deployed on 1 May 2018 at the upstream exit of the fish ladder and operates for 72 hours each week. Fish as small as 40 millimeters (mm) have been captured with sand shiners (Notropis stramineus) and rosyfaceshiners (Notropis rubellus) being most common. While there is a lack of information on the current migration patterns of riverine Midwest fish species, this prototype fish ladder at Stockdale Mill dam can provide a better understanding of fish migration in Midwest streams, and provide a fishway at mid-west dams for diverse migratory fishes. 

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD