Idaho Power Uses Drones to Track Salmon

Six decades ago, Idaho Power put dams on the Snake River. Since the 60's fish hatcheries have helped reduce the impact of those dams on the native populations of Chinook salmon and steelhead. But it's only been for the past 25 years that the utility company has kept track of the spawning native population. Initially, redd counts were made from a helicopter. Idaho Power's drone survey program started in 2011 in conjunction with the helicopters, but the company soon found counting from a camera mounted on a drone to be much safer while maintaining desired accuracy. The ultimate goal of Idaho Power's UAS efforts is to reduce or eliminate the potential for human risk, while increasing safety and still being able to collect high quality data.

Phil Groves (Idaho Power Company)
Idaho Power Company, drone
Photo: Mike di Donato (KTVB)