Can energy depletion of wild atlantic salmon kelts negotiating hydropower facilities lead to reduced survival?

Henrik Baktoft*, Karl Ø. Gjelland, Marcell Szabo-Meszaros, Ana T. Silva, Milan Riha, Finn Økland, Knut Alfredsen, Torbjørn Forseth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

56 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Repeat spawners constitute an important component of Atlantic salmon populations, but survival of post-spawning individuals (kelts) are often compromised by anthropogenic structures such as hydropower plants (HPPs). Potential effects of HPPs include migration delays and associated increased energy depletion, which potentially results in increased overall mortality. We combined a detailed 3D hydraulic model with high-resolution 3D tracking of tagged kelts (length 73-104 cm) to obtain estimates of kelt movement through water. These estimates were then used in an energetics model to estimate hourly energy expenditure while negotiating the HPP area. Hourly kelt energy expenditure varied between 0.8 and 10.1 kJ × h-1 and was dependent on kelt length. Degree of additional energy depletion can amount to several percent of remaining energy content (our study indicates 4-5 percentage points) potentially leading to reduced post-spawning survival. In turn, this can nullify the iteroparous breeding strategy and jeopardize long-term stability and persistence of Atlantic salmon populations inhabiting HPP rivers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2359
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number18
Number of pages12
ISSN2071-1050
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • High-resolution 3D telemetry
  • 3D hydraulic modeling
  • Anthropogenic structures
  • River connectivity
  • Energetics model
  • Energy expenditure

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Can energy depletion of wild atlantic salmon kelts negotiating hydropower facilities lead to reduced survival?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this