The Kilarc Foundation

An Independent Non-profit Organization
for Restoration and Support of Migrating Fish

Future Proposed Activities

Projects at the Kilarc Site

The Foundation was conceived as an expansion of the fish resource and research work that Davis Hydro wants to do at the Kilarc site and in the immediate area. This work would be funded from the Kilarc Project and proceed either under or in consultation with the Kilarc Foundation Board.  The Kilarc hydro project itself has features that might be used to support activities that are dependent on related funding and access to sites along the Cow River and its tributaries in the Whitmore area. These onsite projects center on the activities described in the Kilarc Project available on the Kilarc.info website. Briefly these proposed activities include:

  • Research support at the Kilarc powerhouse area
  • lab facilities
  • study areas
  • bunkhouse

Davis Hydro intends to build a multipurpose fish laboratory, education center, and small museum with historical material from the area.

The old transformer building is currently used for storage.  This will be converted to the labs as well as an office, maintenance, data collection, and field support for biological field work.

Spawning test grounds in the headrace

The Kilarc facility is a controlled environment with near perfect spawning grounds over various parts of the headrace. The headrace will be connected to the new labs in the old transformer building allowing for detailed experiments of spawning in various parts of the headrace.

While the headrace is used for hydropower it is intended to also be used for research, demonstration, juvenile production and education with appropriate signage and materials.

We see nothing wrong with providing juvenile habitat in the headrace when segmented with screeens for 4 or 5 different genotypes prior to their release elsewhere in the sacramento basin.

Offsite Habitat Restoration Projects

Habitat Rehabilitation or Maintenance Projects

Ranch collaboration actions are projects in which the Foundation works with ranchers and farmers to reduce irrigation water waste, runoff and pollution. These cooperative efforts are aimed at collaboratively improving water habitat for fish in streams that are in or near private property.

Genetic Behavioral Studies

As in many species, the epigenome controls the transient environmental adaptation called anadromy of the O. MyKiss species. With different environments, different behaviors quickly become imprinted on the epigenome resulting in a population with this transient pattern of repeated migratory behavior. The environmental response is passed on from generation to generation via a yet unknown imprinting mechanism, but this epiallele/allele has the effect of setting up a significant population for genetic adaptation should that eventually increase fitness. Should the migratory behavior not prove useful the epigenetic imprinting would diminish, the migrating population would be smaller and a genetic adaptation supporting migration less likely to occur.

Epigenetics appears to contain all of what is conventionally called “instinct” for any species. Here, we are interested in adaptation to different habitats, but both wild type fish and the “hatchery fish” are challenged in the natural environment into which they are released. The research challenge is to understand how the epigenome controls migration in fish and whether desired behaviors such as anadromy can be differentially promoted and imprinted. Most important, once imprinted, are passed across mitosis and meiosis from generation to generation.