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Energy and Environment Directorate

Brian Bellgraph

Brian Bellgraph

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 371-7185


Brian Bellgraph is a freshwater fisheries ecologist specializing in the impacts of human energy development on fishes and has conducted extensive research in hydropower-dominated basins in the U.S. and abroad. In particular, Brian’s research has focused on the effects of hydropower operations on adult and juvenile fish migration behavior, fish growth, mitigation or remediation of impacts, and driving development of technologies to improve fisheries evaluation and management. The primary species he has studied over the years include Chinook salmon, steelhead, bull trout, white sturgeon, sauger, and walleye. Recent projects include evaluating impacts of dissolved gases and temperature on fish physiology and migration; developing computer models to simulate the life history of fall Chinook salmon and white sturgeon; development and application of a real-time, internet-integrated radio telemetry system to evaluate survival of juvenile fishes through hydropower dams; fostering miniaturization of telemetry transmitter technologies; quantifying the fine-scale movements of bull trout in a hydropower tailrace for biological inputs to fish passage design; and promoting the development of innovative fish passage technologies to reduce the cost and improve the safety and efficacy of fish passage.

Research Interests

  • Ecology of large-river fishes
  • Resource use and competition
  • Native vs. non-native interactions
  • Fish migration behavior
  • Impacts of energy development on fish

Education and Credentials

  • M.S., Fish and Wildlife Management, Montana State University, 2006
  • B.S., Fisheries and Wildlife Management, Michigan State University, 2003

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • American Fisheries Society
  • Fisheries Society of the British Isle

PNNL Patents

PNNL Publications



  • Bellgraph B.J., C. Baldwin, L. Garavelli, Z.F. Haque, W.A. Perkins, M.C. Richmond, and M. Howell, et al. 2020. "Estimates of Chinook Salmon Spawning Habitat in a Blocked Reach of the Columbia River Upstream of Grand Coulee Dam." Northwest Science 94, no. 2:99-110. PNNL-SA-141491. doi:10.3955/046.094.0201


  • McIntyre J.I., C.E. Aalseth, T.R. Alexander, H.O. Back, B.J. Bellgraph, T.W. Bowyer, and V.D. Chipman, et al. 2017. "Measurements of Argon-39 at theU20az Underground Nuclear Explosion Site." Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 178-179. PNNL-26326. doi:10.1016/j.jenvrad.2017.07.013


  • Bellgraph B.J., W.A. Perkins, M.C. Richmond, J.A. Serkowski, S.F. Harding, and R.A. Harnish. 2016. Lake Roosevelt White Sturgeon Modeling Support. PNNL-26056. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Lake Roosevelt White Sturgeon Modeling Support



  • Amezcua-Martinez F., and B.J. Bellgraph. 2014. Fisheries Management of Mexican and Central American Estuaries. Dordrecht:Springer Science+Business Media. PNNL-SA-100725.
  • Bellgraph B.J., K.M. Carter, M.A. Chamness, T.K. Abel, T.J. Linley, and V.I. Cullinan. 2014. "Predation Susceptibility of Juvenile Fall Chinook Salmon Exposed to Sudden Temperature Changes and Slightly Supersaturated Dissolved Gas." In Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Life History Investigations, 1/1/2012 - 12/31/2012 Annual Report, edited by KF Tiffan, et al. 61-90. Pasco, Washington:Bonneville Power Administration. PNNL-SA-96230.
  • Hayes D.B., B.J. Bellgraph, B.M. Roth, D.D. Dauble, and R.P. Mueller. 2014. "Timing of Redd Construction by Fall Chinook Salmon in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River." River Research and Applications 30, no. 9:1110-1119. PNWD-SA-10098. doi:10.1002/rra.2719
  • Rodriguez-Preciado J.A., F. Amezcua-Martinez, B.J. Bellgraph, and J. Madrid-Vera. 2014. "Feeding habits and trophic level of the Panama grunt Pomadasys panamensis, an important bycatch species from the shrimp trawl fishery in the Gulf of California." Scientific World Journal 2014. PNNL-SA-88847. doi:10.1155/2014/864241


  • Gingerich A.J., B.J. Bellgraph, R.S. Brown, N.T. Tavan, Z. Deng, and J. Brown. 2012. "Quantifying reception strength and omnidirectionality of underwater radio telemetry antennas: advances and applications for fisheries research." Fisheries Research 121-122. PNWD-SA-9571. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2012.01.003


  • Bellgraph B.J., G.A. McMichael, R.P. Mueller, and J.L. Monroe. 2010. "Behavioural response of juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha during a sudden temperature increase and implications for survival." Journal of Thermal Biology 35, no. 1:6-10. PNNL-SA-65005.
  • McMichael G.A., R.A. Harnish, B.J. Bellgraph, J.A. Carter, K.D. Ham, P.S. Titzler, and M.S. Hughes. 2010. Migratory Behavior and Survival of Juvenile Salmonids in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary in 2009. PNNL-19545. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Migratory Behavior and Survival of Juvenile Salmonids in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary in 2009
  • Perkins W.A., P.S. Titzler, M.C. Richmond, J.A. Serkowski, S.E. Kallio, and B.J. Bellgraph. 2010. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Surveys of Velocity Downstream of Albeni Falls Dam. PNNL-19816. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Surveys of Velocity Downstream of Albeni Falls Dam




  • Bellgraph B.J., B.E. Thompson, D.B. Hayes, and T.S. Riley. 2006. "Growth of age-0 steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the Pine River watershed, Alcona County, Michigan." Journal of Freshwater Ecology 21, no. 4:687-692. PNNL-SA-53627.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas