Amy Newsom on lake Alstern.

In August and September 2018, Amy Newsom from Germany visited Karlstad University and did an internship with NRRV. Here she writes about her months at Karlstad University.

“Having spent a year at Karlstad University as an exchange student in 2017 in the framework of my bachelor program “Environmental and Sustainability Studies” at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany, I had already been able to gain a first impression of the university’s biology department, which sparked my interest in freshwater ecology. Consequently, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Naturresurs rinnande vatten Team for a six-week internship in August and September of 2018.

During the weeks I spent at Karlstad University, I was able to work with different researchers, getting to know a variety of projects and greatly extending my previous knowledge on freshwater and riparian ecology, in particular river connectivity. My main aim in this internship was to gain more practical research experience, so I was glad to be able to spend a lot of time both in the lab and in the field. For example, my work included processing raw data on the ventilation rates of young trout to assess differences in metabolism efficiency, counting the eggs of spiders gathered in the field and preparing samples for stable isotope analysis to assess the impact of hydro dams on food web interactions of fish. This was a particularly interesting experience as stable isotope analysis was a new scientific procedure to me, and I was keen to learn more about it. I was also excited to join in some of the field work conducted during my time at NRRV, collecting fish, invertebrates and plankton samples from the lake Alstern and electrofishing in the rivers Mörrumsån and Emån to assess the overall community composition at different sites. I was furthermore able to gain valuable insights into the design of research experiments while accompanying the setting up of an experimental flume in Älvkarleby and the preparation of eel traps in the river Alsterälven. In the time I spent in the office, I was also able to gather more experience in data analysis and scientific writing, both helpful preparations for my upcoming bachelor thesis.

Amy Newsom dissecting a crayfish.

Returning to Karlstad also gave me the opportunity to improve my Swedish, reconnect with old friends and make new contacts, as well as further explore the forests, rivers and lakes in the area that I have come to love so much. My thanks go out to John Piccolo, on whose invitation I was able join NRRV as an intern, the International Offices both in Karlstad and at my home university for helping me with the administrative process, and the German foundation Meifort Stiftung, whose generous support made this internship possible for me. I am also incredibly grateful to all the researchers at the KAU biology department who warmly welcomed me into their team, took the time to introduce me to their work and helped me gain new knowledge and experience, in particular Olle Calles, Rachel Bowes, Larry Greenberg, Denis Lafage, Karl Filipsson, Andrew Harbicht, Lovisa Lind and Niclas Carlsson.”

Amy Newsom and Andrew Harbicht (NRRV-postdoc) electrofishing in river Mörrumsån.

Nedre Dalälven.

Projekt LIV – laxfisk i nedre Dalälven, som doktorand Anna Hagelin vid Karlstads universitet har varit projektledare för, uppmärksammades nyligen av svt nyheter i och med publiceringen av projektets slutrapport. Målet med projektet har varit att undersöka nedre Dalälvens potential att återfå livskraftiga och självreproducerande bestånd av havsvandrande lax och öring. Projektet är ett samarbete mellan länsstyrelserna i Gävleborg och Uppsala samt kraftverksägarna Fortum och Vattenfall, och finansierades till störst del genom Fortums och Vattenfalls miljöfond samt naturskyddsföreningens miljömärkning Bra Miljöval.

Restaurering av lekplatser för lax och öring i nedre Dalälven.

Det finns många vandringshinder för lax och öring i nedre Dalälven. Trots detta kan det finnas goda förutsättningar att få tillbaka självreproducerande bestånd av båda arterna. För att fiskens lekvandring ska fungera krävs det stora investeringar i form av alternativa vandringsvägar (så kallade omlöp) förbi vandringshinder som till exempel kraftverk. För tillfället kommer fisken till Älvkarleby, men länsstyrelsen Gävleborg vill göra det möjligt för fisken att själva vandra upp till sina lekområden.

Läs nyhetsartikeln på svt här, eller mer om LIV-projektet på länsstyrelsen Gävleborgs hemsida.

The experimental flume “Kungsrännan” under construction in Älvkarleby.

Hydropower dams block migration routes and disrupt longitudinal connectivity in rivers, thereby posing a threat to migratory fish species. Various fish passage solutions have been implemented to improve connectivity with varying success. For downstream migrating fish, low sloping turbine intake racks are used to guide fish to bypasses. Current knowledge, however, is based on hydropower plants with intake capacities <72 cm. There is also a trade-off between electricity generation and fish guidance (smaller bar spacing – better for fish, larger bar spacing – better for hydropower). Currently, gap widths/bar spacings of 10-20 mm are recommended but behavioral guidance effects open up the possibility of larger bar spacings.

During spring, Karlstad University in collaboration with Vattenfall and NINA, will experimentally study the behavior and passage performance of downstream migrating salmon smolts approaching a variety of low sloping intake racks. The experiments will be conducted in a new large experimental flume – Kungsrännan – at the Vattenfall hydraulic laboratory in Älvkarleby, Sweden. We will study the passage behavior and performance of smolts for alpha racks – inclined from the bottom up – and beta racks – angled from one side of the channel to the other – with different gap-widths (15-30 mm).

For this, we are looking for one interested and ambitious assistant to join us in Älvkarleby. The assistant will be salaried and is needed from mid-April to mid-June. Housing in the area can be provided. Are you interested in joining us? Contact Olle Calles for more information.

The principle behind downstream fish passage solutions using low sloping intake racks. The fish is swept and guided along a beta rack to a bypass at the rack’s downstream end.

Under två dagar har jag, Anders Andersson och Johan Watz varit på fiskmärkningskurs i SLU:s regi vid deras anläggning i Älvkarleby. I föredrag och praktiska övningar fick vi se exempel på olika fiskmärkningsmetoder. Allt från molekylära inmärkningar, köldtatueringar och Carlin-märkning till pit-tags, radiosändare och datalagrande märken. Försöksdesign, fiskhållning, lagstiftning och etik runt fiskmärkning diskuterades också.

Carlin

Demonstration av Carlin-märkning – fisken är bedövad!

Pit-tag

Övning – regnbåge pit-tag märks med hjälp av en så kallad pistol.

Pit-tag_smolt

Demonstration av pit-tag-märkning av smolt.

T-tags

Döda regnbågslaxar väntar på att bli märkta med T-märken

Vi vill passa på att tacka arrangörerna, föreläsarna, instruktörerna och våra fellow kursdeltagare för två intressanta och trevliga dagar! Väl mött igen!

Elfiskekurs 5–6 oktober

Posted by Stina Gustafsson | Projekt Eldbäcken

Den 5-6 oktober höll Fiskeriverket en kurs i elfiske vid Fiskeriförsöksstationen på Laxön i Älvkarleby. Kursen omfattade två hela utbildningsdagar med både teori och praktik. Efter genomförd kurs får nu även jag elfiska i biokanalen nästa vår/sommar. Hurra!

/Stina