Fishway entrance modifications enhance fish attraction
Two Denil fishways on the Grand River, Ontario, were monitored annually since 1994 for activity by several dozen fish species. Fishway entrances were enlarged and repositioned approximately 2 m closer to the weir face, in areas where fish were attracted by weir discharge. These simple modifications resulted in increased attraction efficiency for pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus (L.). After modifications, annual relative rate of recapture was 39% (95% confidence interval [CI]=32–46%), representing a 2.6–3-fold increase in fishway use relative to pre-modification conditions. Median daily recapture rates also increased significantly from 0% at both fishways to approximately 2%. These results suggest that fishway entrances should be located as close to a dam or weir face as possible, but velocity barriers from spillway or tailrace discharge must not compromise access.