Adult Fish Counting

Overview The Federal Columbia River Power System comprises a series of hydropower projects in the Columbia Basin located on the mainstem Columbia River and in several of its major tributaries that provide roughly one-third of the electricity used in the Pacific Northwest. As defined in the annual Fish Passage Plan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the important responsibility of enumerating adult salmon, steelhead, shad, lamprey, and other migratory fishes passing the hydroelectric facilities that they manage. These facilities include Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, and McNary dams on the Columbia River, and Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite dams on the Snake River. Management of this program includes not only staffing and managing over 45 fishery observers, but also reporting and data quality assurance. In addition, starting in 2019, the program was upgraded to use electronic collection and delivery of data.

Our Role Four Peaks and our teaming partners took over the management of this project in 2019. The team immediately began hiring for the initial season and was able to staff all 12 stations in under a month. Our team also began developing new counting interface software, near real-time data transmission architecture, and a cloud-based system for checking, aggregating, and reporting hourly counts. Fully implemented since the initial season, this system electronically delivers daily count data to designated distribution and archival locations, provides live web access to data and project status for project managers, and our double-blind quality control process ensures the accuracy of fish count data. Overall, this system improves count data entry efficiency, data quality, and data availability.

This project required the Four Peaks team to specify, procure, and install information technology hardware, including new video equipment, computer hardware, network switches, and dedicated internet connections at each count station. A comprehensive training program was implemented so that experienced fish counting staff were equipped with the knowledge to properly operate the count entry software prior to the start of the initial field season. In addition, our team provides weekly reporting that details activities and issues, quality control checks, and suggestions for program improvement.

At A Glance

Client Type

Washington and Oregon

Project Timeline
2019 to Present

Service Area(s)

Project Manager: Samuel Haffey, MEng, PE