Upstream Swimming Performance of Adult White Sturgeon: Effects of Partial Baffles and a Ramp
DOI: 10.1577/T06-064.1
Title: Upstream Swimming Performance of Adult White Sturgeon: Effects of Partial Baffles and a Ramp
Journal Title: Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
Volume: Volume 136
Issue: Issue 2
Publication Date: March 2007
Start Page: 402
End Page: 408
Published online: 9 Jan 2011
ISSN: 0002-8487
Author: Jason D. Webberab, Stephanie N. Chunb, Teresa R. MacCollb, Leslie T. Miriseb, Ayako Kawabatab, Emily K. Andersonc, Tae Sung Cheongc, Lev Kavvasc, Maureen Gee McRotondod, Karen L. Hochgrafd, Roger Churchwelld & Joseph J. Cech Jr.b
Affiliations:
a Department of Biology , San Diego State University , 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, California, 92182-4614, USA
b Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology , University of California–Davis , 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, California, 95616-8751, USA
c Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California–Davis , 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, California, 95616-8751, USA
d California Department of Water Resources , Division of Environmental Services, 901 P Street , Sacramento, California, 95814, USA
Abstract: The Upstream passage of sturgeon (family Acipenseridae) past barriers such as dams has become a concern of fisheries managers in California. Knowledge about the swimming abilities of adult sturgeon species, particularly with relationship to fish ladders, is limited. Wild adult white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus (n = 25; total length, 135–198 cm) captured in the San Francisco Estuary and Yolo Bypass toe drain were swum in a variable-speed aluminum flume (24.4 m long × 2.1 m wide × 1.4 m deep) to evaluate swimming behavior around simulated fish-ladder-type partial baffles. Four baffle types (one horizontal ramp and three different vertical slot designs) set in two configurations were tested at three velocity regimes (velocity range around baffles, 0.28–2.52 m/s). In general, faster velocities (0.76–1.07 m/s) cued fish to swim Upstream sooner (≤100 s). Among the baffle types, the percentage of successful passage was variable, and no statistically significant pattern was detected. The tail-beat frequency of fish significantly increased in the high-velocity (to 2.52 m/s) regions of the flume adjacent to the energy-dissipating baffles, where sturgeon were able to pass by swimming in bursts, followed by a resting and recovery period in slower water. Successful white sturgeon passage structures should incorporate rapid-velocity (e.g., 0.84–2.52-m/s) sections between somewhat slower (e.g., 0.51–0.68-m/s) sections for rest and recovery.
Accepted: 12 Nov 2006

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