Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Report
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 7907
Title: Effect of gas supersaturated Columbia River water on the survival of juvenile chinook and coho salmon
Author/Editor: Theodore H. Blahm, Robert J. McConnell, George R. Snyder
Year: 1975
Institution: National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Technical Report, NMFS SSRF-688

The deleterious effect of high concentrations of disolved gas on valuable stocks of Columbia River salmon and trout has led pollution control agencies in the Pacific Northwest to consider establishing standards for the amount of dissolved gas in the water.  Research has been done with salmonids to define the criteria upon which such standards should be based, but the majority of these studies were carried out in shallow tanks (less than 1 m deep) where supersaturated concentrations of gas had been artificially induced.

This report discusses tests that were performed at a field laboratory on the Columbia River.  Juvenile Chinook Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and coho O. kisutch salmon were tested in deep and shallow tanks with river water reflecting the prevailing (and fluctuating) concentrations of dissolved gases.  Results indicated that the water depth in a deep (3 m) test tank enhanced the survival of test fish compared to shallow tanks (< 1 m).  These tests support the hypothesis that test conditions in tanks 1-m deep are not representative of all river conditions that directly relate to mortality of juvenile salmon and trout in the Columbia River.

Notes: SSRF (Special Scientific Report: Fisheries) Available from