Welland River Siphon (Aqueduct) White Sucker Tracking 2013


Biotactic and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (with assistance from the OMNR) radio-tagged and tracked 40 adult white suckers that were released downstream from the two sets of siphon tubes, or subterranean aqueducts, that allow the Welland River to flow beneath the Old Welland Canal and the New Welland Canal.  We first radio-tracked white suckers at the Old Welland Canal in 2001. During that year, it was shown that radiotagged white suckers could successfully pass upstream through the siphon tubes.  Preliminary results from 2013 indicate that white suckers can pass upstream through both sets of siphons, but with differing degrees of success.  Target species for fish passage in Welland River include walleye, that seem to have difficulty passing through man-made structures (in contrast to white suckers).  Future research funded by the Government of Ontario may help improve fish passage in the Welland River.

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Paths of five radiotagged white suckers that returned from the Welland River to their original capture location in the Grand River over less than a year. Total return swimming distance is at least 124 km.

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