, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 155-162

Entrainment mortality of Ichthyoplankton: Detectability and precision of estimates

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Abstract

The ability to detect and to develop a precise and accurate estimate of the entrainment mortality fraction is an important step in projecting power plant impacts on future fish population levels. Recent work indicates that these mortailities may be considerably less than 100% for some fish species in the early life stages. Point estimates of the entrainment mortality fraction have been developed based on probabilistic arguments, but the precision of these estimates has not been studied beyond the simple statistical test of the null hypothesis that no entrainment mortaility exists.

The ability to detect entrainment mortality is explored as a function of the sample sizes (numbers of organisms collected) at the intake and discharge sampling stations of a power plant and of the proportion of organisms found alive in the intake samples (intake survival). Minimum detectable entrainment mortality, confidence interval width, and type II error (probability of accepting the null hypothesis of no entrainment mortality when there is mortality) are considered. Increasing sample size and/or decreasing sampling mortality will decrease the minimum detectable entrainment mortality, confidence interval width, and type II error for a given level of type I error.

The results of this study are considered in the context of designing useful monitoring programs for determining the entrainment mortality fraction. Preliminary estimates of intake survival and the entrainment mortality fraction can be used to obtain estimates of the sample size needed for a specified level of confidence interval width or type II error. Final estimates of the intake survival and the entrainment mortality fraction can be used to determine the minimum detectable entrainment mortality and the type II error.