Laos-3 
Text and photographs by Kyle Dickman.

I'm at Khone Falls on the Mekong River in Laos with filmmaker-kayaker Trip Jennings (above, center) and Zeb Hogan (below), the host of the National Geographic Channel's Monster Fish show and an expert on the region's fishes. 

Laos-2 
We're trying to figure out how a proposed dam at the falls, one of the world's most productive fisheries, will affect migratory fish that range from pinky-sized carp to 500-pound catfish–Southeast Asia's whiskered equivalent of salmon. (Follow their progress here.)

At Khone Falls, the river divides into hundreds of different channels and drops off a 60-foot cascading waterfall. Which channels fish use to migrate depends on the size of the waterfall. Basically, the bigger the vertical drop, the fewer fish use the channel to migrate.
  
 

Laos-6
 
We've outfitted Trip's kayak with a depth-finder and a GPS to map water velocity, depth, and gradient. We're hoping to figure out what the migration parameters are for different species of fish (as in, big fish migrate up this channel because the water velocity is less than 20 mph, or whatever the case may be). What we find, will tell us if other channels share the same characteristics as Don Sahong, the site of the proposed dam. Don Sahong is hypothesized to be used most by migratory fishes because of its relatively mild whitewater.
Laos-1  

We've been at Khone Falls for four days now. The first two days we rode mopeds past water buffalo and monasteries to scout waterfalls. On Sunday, we decided to run Somphamit Falls, a difficult stair-stepping 60-foot drop with fish traps lining the banks. Trip fired it up, recorded the data, and sent it to Sea Floor Systems, the California-based company who designed the system we're using to process the data.

Laos-5
The fish traps suggest fish use Somphamit Falls as a migratory channel, but the data will show us whether they're making it past the waterfall in dry season or being turned back. Does this channel share some of the same characteristics as Don Sahong? I'll let you know what we find out.

This expedition was funded in part by the National Geographic Expeditions Council.

Comments

  1. Jai Pillai
    July 13, 2010, 10:12 pm

    Good luck with the research. The migration patterns will shed a lot of light into the lives of the fishes.

  2. Fish Finder
    August 14, 2010, 9:52 am

    Wow, great post and pictures. Looking forward to an update on your results. I expect that this is a multi-year study. Good luck.

  3. Boiling Springs Homes
    August 18, 2010, 7:33 pm

    Didn’t know cat fish got to 500 pounds in the Mekong river. My wife is from this area and these pictures brought back memories

  4. Daily sentinel newspaper
    December 5, 2010, 11:46 pm

    I am really thankful to you for providing info related to this topic. I hope you will provide more details in the next post.

  5. Paul
    December 20, 2010, 6:01 am

    Great post and photos, Would like the see a updated post with the data. I visit the mekong river a long time ago, its beautiful.

  6. buysupra
    December 30, 2010, 4:03 am

    Heya..thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success.

  7. Penis Enlargement
    January 20, 2011, 5:16 am

    I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely. I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too. I would love to track your future posts pertaining to the said topic we are able to read.

  8. holyland tours
    February 16, 2011, 12:52 pm

    Good pictures..and i wasnt aware of the facts you have given here..thanks for your experience with us..This research of your give encouragement to save the people..may be people try to save them..keep going with you saving fish mission…it need effort and you guys doing it..all the best with you research

  9. Best Dental Surgeon PA
    February 26, 2011, 12:23 am

    Kayaking is one of the sports that I love most. Anyway, what you have here in the regarding a certain research about migratory fishes really catches my attention. I never expect that fishes could swim through rapids. Aren’t they?
    And nice pics. Thanks for sharing

  10. Say - Kesha Tickets
    March 2, 2011, 9:59 pm

    Sound very interesting. You are doing an expedition to study migratory fishes through the aid of kayakers. I myself really want to endure such sport but the problem is I have a fear on rapids. Hope you have good results on the study that you are making.
    Thanks for sharing this article.

  11. ferragamo shoes
    March 4, 2011, 6:04 pm

    the information of this post is very relevant
    for what i am looking for, thank you so much for sharing this one

  12. Costa Mesa Chiropractor
    June 15, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Kayakers Help Scientists Save Fish, Big and Small. That is wonderful since kayakers love the water they should give back something to them.

  13. Huntington Beach Chiropractor
    June 15, 2011, 10:39 pm

    kayakers your the best…

  14. costa mesa chiropractor
    July 7, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Which channels fish use to migrate depends on the size of the waterfall. Basically, the bigger the vertical drop, the fewer fish use the channel to migrate.

  15. costamesa chiropractic
    July 8, 2011, 7:57 pm

    The first two days we rode mopeds past water buffalo and monasteries to scout waterfalls. On Sunday, we decided to run Somphamit Falls, a difficult stair-stepping 60-foot drop with fish traps lining the banks.

  16. Taxi naar Schiphol
    August 11, 2011, 6:03 am

    Good initiative, and good to see people working together instead of making war.

  17. English Tuition
    August 24, 2011, 3:17 am

    I always love adventures, like camping, rock climbing and sky diving…but I never involve myself adventure under water. I just don’t know but I feel not that comfortable with waters, at the back of my mind there’s a strange feeling holding me back.

  18. English Tuition
    August 24, 2011, 3:18 am

    I always love adventures, like camping, rock climbing and sky diving…but I never involve myself adventure under water. I just don’t know but I feel not that comfortable with waters, at the back of my mind there’s a strange feeling holding me back.

  19. Sports Coaching Courses
    August 24, 2011, 3:28 am

    That was GREAT!… Now it’s more than just having adventure, it now involve saving the lives of animals. Another achievement to consider. Thumbs up!

  20. knockoff handbags
    September 7, 2011, 1:38 pm

    nghju Its interesting. I would like to know more about this…I really wanted to know how this works can you please help me out……

  21. Bachelor of Applied Fitness
    October 5, 2011, 1:57 am

    There’s no beauty in this world that can compare the beauty of nature. Gods perfect creation stuns with it’s beauty and I just can’t imagine why there are people who tries to destroy it’s beauty.

  22. donghanjin
    October 15, 2011, 4:25 am

    This is a wonderful site! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now! Thank you!

  23. elan-credit-card
    November 2, 2011, 12:02 am

    It’s so nice of them. I hope they won’t stop helping those fishes.

  24. UGG Bailey Button Boots
    December 5, 2011, 4:02 am

    Superb! Generally I never read whole articles but the way you wrote this information is simply amazing and this kept my interest in reading and I enjoyed it.

  25. Halong Bay Tours
    December 12, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Halong Bay is a place that is very conscious of the ecological balance that exists. The local government are really hands on and proactive about conservation and fish stocks.

  26. Men's Chilliwack Bomber
    December 19, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Good post. I am also going to write a blog post about this…I enjoyed reading your post and I like your take on the issue. Thanks.http://www.bestjacketsparka.com

  27. replica handbags
    December 27, 2011, 8:14 am

    Great Site, your plugins are very useful and save me a tonne of time.twt4s

  28. replica handbags
    December 27, 2011, 10:48 am

    thanks admin for sharing this cool thing with us.uityi

  29. angry birds walkthrough
    January 22, 2012, 2:33 am

    I found some really interesting stuff in your post especially this discussion. Keep up the good work.

  30. cheapest car insurance in florida
    January 22, 2012, 8:59 am

    By default the drop-down menu is set to fade in on hover, display vertically, and the hide when not hovered upon.

  31. Editors Directory
    January 26, 2012, 2:55 am

    It helps me to explore new places and challenge ourselves so we could not do otherwise and it’s getting better.

  32. 口臭
    January 30, 2012, 6:46 am

    Which channels fish use to migrate depends on the size of the waterfall. Basically, the bigger the vertical drop, the fewer fish use the channel to migrate.

  33. Magic of Making Up
    February 2, 2012, 9:22 am

    At Khone Falls, the river divides into hundreds of different channels and drops off a 60-foot cascading waterfall. Which channels fish use to migrate depends on the size of the waterfall.

  34. Philadelphia House
    February 3, 2012, 9:59 am

    I look forward to reading your blog, because they are always full of information that I can put to use. Thank you again, and God bless you in future.

  35. topes de hule
    February 9, 2012, 4:03 pm

    It is really well done and quite easy even for novice GPS users. Users can even upload and geotag content without any GPS info at all, using the maps in EveryTrail to plot out your trek.

  36. cheappaydayloans
    February 12, 2012, 1:01 am

    thanks to the the blogger to write this. appreciate your speculating as it arouses people’s concern today

  37. Land For Sale
    February 14, 2012, 10:01 am

    The answer not only has important political implications; it also helps us understand the extent to which basic cultural values are enduring.

  38. debt consolidation
    February 15, 2012, 7:44 am

    I love when you share your views through the best articles.Keep sharing and posting articles like these.This article has helped me a lot.Keep posting this stuff.

  39. montacargas
    February 19, 2012, 3:32 am

    I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to write, in depth, on the process of creating an article efficiently and effectively for blog readers.

  40. custom logo mats
    February 23, 2012, 1:12 am

    The answer not only has important political implications; it also helps us understand the extent to which basic cultural values are enduring.

  41. giochi casinò online
    February 25, 2012, 11:31 am

    I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. I’m wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts

  42. Hai
    February 25, 2012, 3:41 pm
  43. pro cleanse
    February 26, 2012, 2:30 am

    The Panasonic DVX-100 came out in 2002 and that became a cheap camera that we could all make stuff on, good looking stuff for cheap.

  44. Emma's online slots
    February 27, 2012, 8:23 am

    This is my first opportunity to visit this website. I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Thanks for sharing useful information.