NOAA Fisheries Reports on Ph.D. Student’s Atlantic Salmon Smolt Research

NOAA Fisheries reported on new Atlantic salmon smolts research led by Dan Stich, a NOAA Fisheries biologist who conducted the study as a Ph.D. student at the University of Maine. The study, which recently appeared in the journal Marine and Coastal Fisheries, showed that even if young smolts survive the initial hazard of passing through and around dams, they may suffer injuries that make them more likely to die days or weeks later in the estuary, according to the article. “The effects of dams aren’t limited to a 500-meter stretch below the dam, but extend tens of kilometers out to sea,” Stich said. “In fact, the number of fish killed by the delayed effects of dams can be greater than the number killed at the dam itself.” Atlantic salmon are endangered in the United States, and these findings suggest that making dam passage safer for smolts can help the recovery of the species, the article states.