Fish passage efficiency of a fishway in Sheffield Mills Nova Scotia
LE3 .A278 2015
Bachelor of Science
Connectivity of feeding and breeding habitat in fresh water ecosystems is important for fishes to successfully complete their life cycles. When a man-made obstruction prevents or inhibits fish passage, a fishway may be installed to attempt to reduce negative effects of the barrier on fish movement. However, fish passage success through many fishways has not been quantified. In this study, Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), White Suckers (Catostomus commersonii), and American Eels (Anguilla rostrata) were tagged using passive integrated transponder tags to enable their movements to be tracked through the Sheffield Mills Fishway, located on the Habitant River, Nova Scotia, in fall 2013 and summer-fall 2014. Passage efficiency and total efficiency were measures used to determine overall effectiveness of the fishway. Many tagged fish did not approach the fishway, likely due to low motivation to move upstream. However, the fish that were detected at the base of the fishway were usually able to pass successfully (high passage efficiency). In 2013 passage efficiency ranged from 75-90%, whereas in 2014 passage efficiency ranged from 60-75%. Brook Trout had the highest passage efficiency likely because this fishway’s pool and weir design is meant to pass strong swimming salmonids, with less consideration for other fishes. Results of this project, along with further research, will help us better understand how fishes move through these systems and to help us determine species-specific success for fishway passage.
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.