The entrainment and impingement of fish into water diversion infrastructure is one of the several factors contributing to their decline. Here, controlled experiments assessed the potential for a behavioral guidance device [a light-emitting diode (LED) light array] strobing at various spectra to reduce the entrainment of juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) into a water diversion pipe. Fish were tested during the day and night, and under control conditions (light off) and red, blue, and white spectra strobing at 2 Hz. Fish entrainment into the diversion pipe was evaluated. Results indicated greater entrainment at night compared to day. All trials at night with the LED light strobing had higher entrainment than the control, with blue and white spectra corresponding to greater entrainment than red spectra. During the day, the white spectra treatment was different from the red treatment, with lower entrainment. LED lights employed to repel migratory juvenile salmon away from water intake structures may be ineffectual but there is potential for the light to be used as an attractant to guide fish towards desirable features such as “safe” areas (bypass channels or fishways).

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Department of Biology

Hansen, M.J. (M. J.), Steel, A.E. (A. E.), Cocherell, D.E. (D. E.), Patrick, P.H. (P. H.), Sills, M. (M.), Cooke, S.J, … Fangue, N.A. (N. A.). (2019). Experimental evaluation of the effect of a light-emitting diode device on Chinook salmon smolt entrainment in a simulated river. Hydrobiologia. doi:10.1007/s10750-019-04022-1