There are many studies indicating the pressure, stress and negative impact barriers like weirs and dams have on fish migration. However, there is hardly any research on the impact of barriers on the downstream migration of smolts, specifically, smolts passing over weirs.
This year, new research indicates weirs can cause mortality in the downstream migration of Atlantic salmon smolts. This mortality can also be compounded if there are several weirs for smolts to pass over! We know there can be tens, if not hundreds, of weirs and dams along an entire length of a river impacting both upstream and downstream migration. This has a severe impact on future populations of many species.
Thankfully, we have the opportunity to remove out-of-use barriers and improve migration statistics for not only Atlantic salmon but every migratory species affected by barriers. Already, Europe has removed nearly 5000 dams and more are destroyed every year.
Thanks to opportunities like dam removal crowdfunding campaigns and team building trips, we can make a personal and direct difference for the state of our rivers! Join the movement!
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