Hydroacoustic differentiation of adult Atlantic salmon and aquatic macrophytes in the River Wye, Wales
Hydroacoustic Technology, 715 NE Northlake Way, Seattle, WA98105-6429, USA
2 The Environment Agency, Welsh Region, Rivers House - Mellons Business Park St. Mellons, Cardiff CF3 0LT, Wales, UK
Accepted: 13 October 2000
Split-beam hydroacoustic techniques have been used to enumerate adult Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) passage on the River Wye since 1994. Aggregations of aquatic macrophytes, principally Ranunculus fluitans, are seasonally present at the monitoring site. At high densities, these macrophytes return target strength (TS) values similar to those of adult salmon. Target direction-of-movement information readily resolves upstream-migrant salmon from static- or downstream-traveling macrophytes. However, Atlantic salmon are iteroparous, and downstream-migrant kelts must be factored into the acoustic estimates. Net upstream target movement and/or TS were not reliable indicators of salmon passage at the River Wye site when aquatic macrophyte aggregations were present. In 1995, a subset of data (n = 71) was selected from the ongoing monitoring program to determine the feasibility of resolving salmon from macrophytes using acoustic parameters other than target direction-of-movement or mean TS. Individual targets were visually identified as either salmon or macrophytes based on concurrent video records. Distributions of available acoustic parameters were statistically compared between the two target-types using a two-tailed t-test assuming equal variance (P = 0.05). Available acoustic parameters included echo position, pulse width (at –6, –12, and –18 dB power points), amplitude, beam pattern factor and target strength. Pulse width standard deviation (PWSD) measurements were determined to be the most effective individual parameters for discriminating macrophytes from salmon. Based on PWSD at the –6 dB echo power points, 77% of all macrophyte targets were removed from the mixed data set. Multiple selection criteria increased total target discrimination. Applying a combination of –6 and –12 dB PWSD, and Y–axis target slope criteria rejected 94% of all macrophytes, retaining all salmon targets.
Key words: acoustic assessment / acoustic target identification / macrophytes / Atlantic salmon
© Elsevier, Inra, Ifremer, Cemagref, Ird, Cnrs, 2000