Cooperative Research Units
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Fish community response to commercial operation of the Richard B Russell pump-storage hydropower facility on the Savannah River, GA-SC


October 2007 - September 2010


The purpose of this project is to continue the research into the fish community response to full commercial operation of the J. Strom Thurmond and Richard B. Russell hydropower project; this work will be used to evaluate data collected previously on JST and RBR by the Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. The goals for the 5-year effort are two fold. First, evaluate the effects of full commercial pump-back operation of the Russell Project; and second, provide statistically-rigorous, scientifically-sound information on which to base management decisions about the operation of the Russell Project. The proposed study will encompass a variety of hydrological and climatological conditions and several year-classes of blueback herring and threadfin shad.

Objectives and Methods:
Task One: Evaluate fish community response in JST and RBR reservoirs to commercial operation of the Russell Project.
Objective: Monitor trends in fish populations in the Savannah River Arm of Reservoir and the lower third of Richard B. Russell Reservoir.
Task 1-A Routine Gill Net Surveys
Task 1-B Supplemental Gill Net Surveys
Task 1-C Electrofishing
Task 1-D Cove Rotenone
Task Two: Evaluate response of pelagic fishes to the installment and operation of a dissolved oxygen diffuser system in JST Reservoir.
Objective: Determine if pelagic species with high dissolved oxygen requirements use habitat created by the operation of dissolved oxygen diffuser installed in JST Reservoir.
Task 2-A Diffuser System Gill Net Surveys


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 670

Scientific Publications: 1897

Presentations: 4202



Funding Agencies

  • Corps of Engineers


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey