Juvenile Salmon Response to Innovative Seawall Enhancements: Application of a Hydroacoustic Camera

Researchers use an acoustic camera to see how fish respond to seawall habitat enhancements.

Principal Investigator

Jeff Cordell, University of Washington, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences

Co-Principal Investigators

Jason Toft, University of Washington


It is widely acknowledged that seawall habitat enhancements can improve the local environment for juvenile fish. This project builds on previous WSG-funded research to incorporate juvenile salmon habitat considerations into the construction of the Seattle sea wall, and provide managers with effective options for improving juvenile salmon survival and survival of adults returning to spawn. Investigators are expanding upon current  Seattle Department of Transportation monitoring with additional funding that provides for snorkeling surveys and to install acoustic cameras mounted under survey kayaks, to image fishes in their environment. The approach will improve and enhance data gathered about juvenile salmon in nearshore urban environments by providing data to be collected in areas and times of otherwise poor visibility (such as at night). This will be coupled with snorkeling surveys along Seattle’s waterfront, conducted during the juvenile salmon spring out-migration period. The data will expand our understanding of how juvenile salmon are using these new habitat areas.