Using technology to improve fish passage

Project Year: 2022-2023

Multi-year Project

Photo: Z. Sherker

Project Lead

MakeWay Charitable Society


Coastal Region


Project Type

Habitat-Based Actions

FWCP Contribution


Action Plan Alignment

Rivers, Lakes & Reservoirs

Project ID


Coquitlam River Floodgate and Salmon Passage Year 2

This multi-year project will use fish tracking technology to assess juvenile salmon passage at three floodgates installed in the Coquitlam River Watershed.

This work will compare fish movement relative to floodgate openings and investigate how gate operation can improve passage. Results will ultimately increase understanding of how and where automated floodgates can be used to benefit salmon species in the Fraser River Watershed.

The automated floodgate was installed on a Coquitlam River tributary to allow fish passage and enhance over three kilometres of crucial salmon habitat. There is evidence, however, that it is not allowing fish passage during the crucial time when juvenile salmon are seeking refuge and overwintering on their migration to the Pacific Ocean.

Update: Fish pass through loop antennas 2.5 million times

The project is using novel technology to track and compare juvenile salmon movement at Colony Farms Regional Park.

Loop antennas gather data about how many fish and which direction they are travelling through the tunnel. There are 12 antennas at three sites, and they’ve tracked more than 2.5 million times fish have passed by, revealing major differences in fish passage between the three sites. It’s the first study to use individual fish tracking to assess the passage of juvenile salmon at flood-control structures.