Identifying Promising Juvenile Salmonid Dam Passage and Survival Improvements through Simulation Modeling
A simulation model was created to identify dam operations and configurations that provided high survivals for Juvenile salmonids migrating out of the Snake River. Regional fisheries managers sought to identify ways to operate and configure the dams and the fish transportation system (barging) to provide safe passage conditions and survival rates that met or exceeded criteria set forth in the Biological Opinion. The challenge was to determine whether a candidate operation or construction item provided the expected survival benefits when the operations and configurations of the entire system were considered. The expected influence of candidate operations and configurations was simulated to screen many millions of combinations and identify the subset that met minimum criteria. Acceptable combinations exhibited a range of survival values, construction costs, and power revenues. This approach provided a set of cost effective combinations from which a mix of survival benefits, construction costs, and power revenues could be chosen to meet stewardship goals.