Seining, Electrofishing, and Relocation Activities

All seining, electrofishing, and relocation activities shall be performed by a qualified biologist. The qualified biologist shall capture and relocate listed species prior to construction of the water diversion structures (e.g., cofferdams). The qualified biologist shall note the number of listed species observed in the affected area, the number and species of fish relocated, where they were relocated to, and the date and time of collection and relocation. The qualified biologist shall have a minimum of three years’
field experience in the identification and capture of listed species, including adult and juvenile salmonids, considered in this opinion. The qualified biologist will adhere to the following requirements for capture and transport of listed fish species:
o Determine the most efficient means for capturing fish (e.g., seining, dip netting, trapping, and electrofishing). Complex stream habitat generally requires the use of electrofishing equipment, whereas in outlet pools, fish may be concentrated by pumping-down the pool and then seining or dip netting fish.
o NMFS staff (identified as project contact) shall be notified one week prior to capture and relocation of listed fish to provide NMFS an opportunity to monitor the operation.
o Initial fish relocation efforts will be conducted several days prior to the start of construction. This provides the biologist an opportunity to return to the work area and perform additional electrofishing passes immediately prior to construction. In many instances, additional fish will be captured that eluded the previous day’s efforts.
o In streams with high water temperature, perform relocation activities during morning periods, when water is coolest.
o Prior to capturing fish, determine the most appropriate release location(s). Consider the following when selecting release site(s): similar water temperature as capture location, ample habitat for captured fish, low likelihood of fish reentering work site or becoming impinged on exclusion net or screen.
o All electrofishing will be conducted according to NMFS Guidelines for Electrofishing Waters Containing Salmonids Listed Under the Endangered Species Act (2000). o Water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity shall be recorded in an electrofishing log book, along with electrofishing settings.
o A minimum of one assistant shall aid the biologist by netting stunned fish and other aquatic vertebrates.
o The following methods shall be used if fish are removed with seines: A minimum of three passes with the seine shall be utilized to ensure maximum capture probability of salmonids within the area. All captured fish shall be processed and released prior to each subsequent pass with the seine. The seine mesh shall be adequately sized to ensure fish are not gilled during capture and relocation activities