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PNS Daily Newscast - August 14, 2020 


Trump rebuffs Biden's call for a national mask mandate; nurses warn of risks of in-person school.


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Responses to President Trump's suggestion that he opposes more Postal Service funding in part to prevent expanded mail-in voting; and Puerto Rico's second try at a primary on Sunday.

Study: Hitching a Ride Confuses Some Salmon and Steelhead

December 8, 2008

Moscow, ID – Getting a free ride around dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers saves the lives of thousands of young salmon and steelhead that would otherwise get chopped up in turbines while trying to get to the sea. But it's a ride that dooms about 10 percent of fish, who get lost trying to find their way back upriver as adults, according to a new study.

Biologist and report author Matthew Keefer at the University of Idaho says the barge trip disrupts the fish as they gather signals during their migration to the sea.

"So, they're sort-of learning as migrate downriver. They recall those signposts on the way back as adults. If you interrupt that, they tend to get lost."

Keefer says not all fish get confused, and scooping up young salmon and steelhead and moving them by boat around dams greatly increases their chance of surviving to adulthood.

"The transportation program overall is a benefit in some years. This is just a new twist on what effects it has later on, in individual fish's lives."

Keefer says scientists have long believed that being transported by barge prevents young fish from picking up signals that help them make their way back, and this study is the first to document the movement of individual fish that were barged.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID