Cooler rivers and dam avoidance help Chinook salmon survive better when migrating to the sea

Chinook salmon on the Snake and Columbia rivers face challenges, notably navigating through hydropower systems, during their migration from freshwater to the ocean; these experiences may change their survival in the ocean. A recent laboratory experiment compared Chinook salmon that were barged through five or seven dams (experiencing cooler temperatures) to those that swim through the hydropower system (experiencing warmer temperatures). Barged salmon survived better in the experiments although it was not possible to tell whether this was because they experienced cooler temperatures or other conditions related to their seasonal migration timing. The research by SAFS researcher Jennifer Gosselin and Prof. Jim Anderson was published in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.

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