What lies behind the dam?

Recent research shows that Chinook salmon stocked as sport fish in California reservoirs are successfully spawning. K. Martin Perales’ research has shown there is good reason to believe there are multiple populations of landlocked Chinook salmon are completing their life cycle above Central Valley dams.

“The planted juveniles are often from different basins and are genetically distinguishable from local salmon populations below reservoirs,” Perales wrote in the California Waterblog. “Consequently, the possibility of behavioral and genetic interactions may lead to complications of restoration efforts via trap and haul programs. The full extent of this phenomenon needs to be documented before trap and haul programs are initiated to reintroduce salmon above reservoirs.”

K. Martin Perales worked with Dr. Peter Moyle as an undergraduate investigating relationships among water quality, slough morphology, and hydrodynamics and their effect on fish communities of the North Delta. He is currently earning his PhD at the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying human impacts on lake fish communities.

Read his article in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management here