Dam Identification
computer exercisehandout exercisesuggested grade levels: 9-12
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Hydroelectric dams provide us with electricity. They also block the migration of salmon to and from their breeding sites. A variety of methods have been used to try to help salmon make it past the dams on their journey to the sea. So far, these attempts have met with little success. By doing this exercise, students will become aware of the problems that these dams have caused for some fish populations as well as what has been attempted to solve these problems.

1. Students will become familiar with the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
2. Students will learn about the harmful impacts that dams have on some wildlife populations.

Have your students use the Game Fisheries section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, mouse-over Hydrology, then click on Game Fisheries. Scroll down and click on where is says "Click Here to learn more about Idaho's wild anadromous fish", and also click on "Look At a map showing locations of dams".
Click on Maps below to print a full-size version of the schematic map showing the location of dams on the Snake and Columbia river drainages. For a handout you can give your students for this activity, click below.

These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
hydr1ho.pdf | hydr1AK.pdf | Game Fisheries | map1.jpg

Handout Sample:
Answer the questions below.    

1. Name each dam.
2. What time frame were the most harmful dams constructed and which dams are considered the most harmful?
3. Write about documented impacts of the dams on Idaho salmon and steelhead populations. In what ways are these dams harmful to fish?

Related Lesson Topics:
Hydrology: Idaho Dam's

Lesson Plan by Jac Harvey, 2000
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: