“Fish Ladders and Elevators Not Working”

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The Story

“Fish Ladders and Elevators Not Working”
by Jill U. Adams
ScienceNOW, January 25, 2013

The Pitch

Modern hydropower dams are designed to allow migratory fish to pass through them on their way to spawn upstream. A new study (Jan 16 in Conservation Letters) reports that those passages — on three major rivers in the northeastern US — have largely failed.

Using publicly available data collected by various agencies since the 1960s, a team of economists and ecologists evaluated the number of fish getting past large hydropower dams on the Merrimack, Connecticut, and Susquehanna rivers. Some migratory species, such as sturgeons, did not pass through at all. But even the species that do make it through did so in numbers far less than predicted targets, once again pointing the finger at large rivers dams for the decline in number of important fisheries, such as shad and river herring.

Interested in a ScienceNOW piece on this?

I’d interview co-author Karin Limberg of SUNY-ESF, a renowned fisheries expert, and an outside source.

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