Feasibility of tracking fish with acoustic transmitters in the Ice Harbor Dam tailrace

Sci Rep. 2014 Feb 13:4:4090. doi: 10.1038/srep04090.


The Juvenile Salmon Acoustic Telemetry System (JSATS) has been used at many dams but has never been deployed in the near-dam tailrace environment. The use of JSATS in the tailrace is of interest to fishery managers to evaluate downstream passage behavior of juvenile salmonids and dam approach behavior of upstream migrating adult salmon and lamprey. The acoustic noise level and detection range of JSATS were studied to determine the feasibility of deploying JSATS in the Ice Harbor Dam tailrace. The noise level measured from the powerhouse deck was less than 104 dB re 1 μPa except for the turbine outlet near the spillway, and 350 m downstream of the dam, the noise level was less than 106 dB. The measured noise levels would allow a theoretical detection range of 100 m to 350 m and 85 m to 320 m, respectively. Validation experiments showed that the detection range is 113 to 184 m using hydrophones deployed from the powerhouse deck and 148 m using hydrophones deployed 500 m downstream of the dam.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics
  • Animal Migration
  • Animals
  • Rivers
  • Salmon / physiology*
  • Telemetry / instrumentation
  • Telemetry / methods*