KHONE FALLS, CHAMPASAK, LAO PDR– 18 – 30 January, 2015: Initial Field Mission Establishes Groundwork, Implements Hydraulic Monitoring Program in Khone Falls Channels

ICEM hydrologists have been undertaking field monitoring and training with researchers from WorldFish, the National University of Lao (NUoL), and Ubon Ratchathani Universtiy (UBU).

The project Informing Fish Passage in the Mekong River aims to assess the swimming capabilities of migratory fish species in the Khone Falls, Chapasak in Southern Laos.

The team spent 10 days on site field testing, designing and implementing a program of hydraulic monitoring in channels with the highest migration potential and characterisation of channel morphology. Biological assessments were undertaken through consultation with local fishers and study of fish catch.

Following the field visit, members of the ICEM team conducted training for students and research staff at the Department of Agriculture at the National University of Laos who will be responsible for undertaking periodic monitoring of the study sites for a full year.

Findings of the study will provide a solid basis for the future design of fish passes better able to accommodate the diversity and specific characteristics of Mekong fish species and mitigate the impact of dams on fish migrations in the Lower Mekong Basin by improving scientific understanding of migration dynamics.