Fish wheels have been used to harvest fish in the Yukon River since the early 1900’s. They are now commonly used as platforms for the collection of biological data for in river fisheries. Recently, the concern over possible negative impacts to fish handled and released from fish wheels has lead to attempts to minimize the handling stress associated with this sampling technique. The Rapids Video Monitoring Project was designed to collect run timing and assessment information for salmon and other migratory fish species through the use of a video capture system that meets the project objectives and minimizes the handling stress to the fish sampled. The video camera capture system was developed for application in the remote field site at the Rampart Rapids fish camp on the Yukon River and collects run timing, and CPUE data on Chinook and chum salmon, sheefish, humpback, broad and cisco whitefish . This video capture system has evolved substantially and many “fish friendly” improvements have been made to the fish wheels over the years. Through a better understanding of the factors affecting the capture efficiency, the project now provides specifications on fish wheel components and operation, and adjustments based on water discharge, which has improved the comparability of CPUE results between years.
Using a video capture system, we take pictures of fish to see how many there are of the different species day after day using a fishwheel. The fish are never held and slide right out of a chute back into the river. We do a bunch of other things also
The left picture below is a link to a shortened section of a video file made one fall day when the whitefish were running strong. What you are looking at is about 10 pictures or frames of each fish that the fishwheel caught in a 6 hour period, with all the time removed when no fish were being caught. At the end of each fishing day we have a 24 hour video file just like this 6 hour file. We can count species, do some sizing, spot tags, and produce video archives that are often gone back into for numbers of reasons years later.
The right picture below is a link to 6 chum getting caught in one basket of a Rapids subsistence fishwheel during the big fall chum run of 2005 and is there for fun viewing (20 MB, 3 minute version available under on left). The Fish Friendly page has a short, low impact video wheel clip and a narrated non video Tagging wheel clip on it also.
(best to start download by - right click on video picture and select save target as)
2.36 MB wmv 4.10 MB wmv
1. To provide daily fish wheel/video catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) data on Chinook, summer chum, and fall chum salmon, and migratory whitefish.
2. To continue improving fish-friendly fish wheel capture techniques and equipment.
3. To continue developing our present methods for adjusting raw catch data that takes into account factors such as river discharge, fish wheel catch efficiency and small versus large size Chinook yearly variations.
Below is the last 2008 worksheet sent out and contains the final seasons data and updated graphs for the Video Fish Wheel
and Student Data Collection projects
Final Rapids Short 2008 Worksheet.xls Latest