This project will develop low-cost and low-power camera systems to be deployed in small clear water streams to count fish passage. The camera systems will include an onboard micro supercomputer that will be trained to identify different species of salmon as they pass and detect if they are moving up- or down-stream. The systems will be designed to transmit their counts of fish passage in near real-time through a cellular or satellite data connection.
The cameras will be developed for Eshamy Creek, a small sockeye, pink and coho salmon stream in Prince William Sound that has historically been managed in part with a small weir where fish passage was directly counted, but which was cancelled due to budget cuts in 2011. The Eshamy Creek weir will be redeployed to provide training images and ground-truth data for the camera systems. Fish passage counts made at the weir will also be used by area managers for in-season management of fisheries in the region for the two years of the project. If successful, the cameras are expected to be an economical method for estimating fish passage that will complement or potentially replace other existing methods.