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Cherry Valley Pump Study Update

Cherry Valley Pump Study Update

Cherry Valley Pump  In 2008, Wild Fish Conservancy began a study of fish passage at a small-scale, agricultural, ditched tributary of Cherry Creek, near Duvall, WA (a fuller description of the study was published in the 2009 Wild Fish Journal). A dam-and-pump system installed on Cherry Creek allows local farmers to pump water off the fields adjacent to the creek during the rainy season. WFC hypothesized that the creek system, known to support rearing of several species of salmonid juveniles including coho, ESA-listed Chinook, and others were at risk due to the operation of the pump facility. WFC researchers designed an experimental study to ask what happens to juvenile salmon that are forced to pass through the pump system.

Hatchery steelhead and Chinook of different sizes were Cherry pump study 1passed through the pump assembly in experimental trials of different speeds. We hoped to determine: 1) what the injury and mortality rates were for different sizes of fish, and 2) whether there was a pump speed configuration that could pass fish of various sizes with minimal injury. The experiment was successful in that WFC documented that certain pump speeds as well as impeller types minimize the injuries sustained by fish of varying sizes, as well as increasing the efficiency of the pumping operation itself. The results of our research were recently published in the journal Fisheries Management and Ecology. See Mortality in Juvenile Salmonids Passed Through an Agricultural Hidrostal Pump.

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Update by Audrey Thompson, Biologist, Wild Fish Conservancy

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