Snorkel Research on Anadromous Fishes (Poster)


  • Conner Holbrook Dept. of Biological and Physical Sciences, Montana State University – Billings
  • Kim Apperson Idaho Fish and Game, Boise
  • Matthew Amick Idaho Fish and Game, Boise


Dam construction has had a large impact on anadromous fish in the Pacific Northwest. All anadromous salmonids in the Pacific Northwest have been deemed as endangered species.  In addition, climate change, and commercial and sport fishing have also had an impact on the anadromous populations. As a result, state and federal organizations have made an effort to augment populations with hatcheries, habitat restoration, and improved fish passages through dam systems. In efforts to understand the tributaries and spawning grounds used by chinook salmon and steelhead trout, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has created population research groups in the form of snorkel crews. One goal of the snorkel crew was to gain a better understanding of which tributaries are frequented by each species of fish. Snorkel transects consisted of regular sites that were snorkeled annually, as well as sites chosen at random.  Transects were lengths of water from 65 to 200 meters long. Snorkelers moved in a serpentine pattern through the stream to cover maximal area. Fish size, number and species were recorded only after fish were passed by a snorkeler. Periodically, the snorkeler would relay data to a person nearby designated to data collection. Sites were chosen at random to be evaluated using a mark re-sight method to estimate efficiency. Anglers fished an area, caught fish were marked and recorded and then released. After fishing the site was left untouched for at least 24 hours before it was snorkeled. After snorkeling an in depth habitat evaluation was conducted.






Montana Academy of Sciences [Poster Abstracts]