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Receivers deployed to kick off project on Peace River, BC

In partnership with BC Hydro, Cooke lab students are using acoustic telemetry to better understand the spatial ecology of bull trout and assess fish entrainment risk in reservoirs. Located in northern British Columbia, the Williston Reservoir is the seventh largest reservoir in the world. The reservoir was formed after the completion of the WAC Bennett Dam in 1968. A second dam on the Peace River; the Peace Canyon Dam is located 23 km downstream of WAC Bennett and was responsible for the formation of Dinosaur Reservoir. Williston and Dinosaur reservoirs are populated by many valuable recreational fish species such as bull trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee. A total of 27 Vemco VR2W receivers were deployed in the Williston reservoir, with an additional 8 receivers placed downstream in Dinosaur Reservoir and Peace River. Bull trout will be angled in each of the two reservoirs and transmitters will be surgically implanted into the fish.  The research will help to inform the development of operational regimes that mitigate entrainment risk for key fish species. Funding is provided by the NSERC CRD program and BC Hydro and involves collaboration between engineers and biologists at Carleton University, University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo and University of Alberta.