Evaluation of a barrier net used to mitigate fish impingement at a Hudson River power plant intake
Hudson River, impingement, power plant, environmental impact, mesh, intake, intake screens, screens, white perch, perch, striped bass, bass, rainbow smelt, smelt, alewife, blueback herring, herring, American shad, shad, mark-recapture, survival
Science, Law and Hudson River Power Plants: A Case Study in Environmental Impact Assessment
American Fisheries Society
A multifilament nylon net of 0.95-cm bar mesh was deployed as a physical barrier to fish in front of the Bowline Point power plant cooling water intake on the Hudson River from 1976 to 1985. The barrier net was deployed during the historical peak impingement months of October-May. The primary species impinged on the intake screens during this period were young-of-year and yearling white perch, striped bass, rainbow smelt, alewife, blueback herring, and American shad, generally ranging from 5 to 10 cm in total length. When the barrier net was deployed, median impingement of all fish was 91% lower than during comparable periods before the net was installed. A mark-recapture population estimate indicated that 230,000 yearling striped bass and white perch were in the embayment outside the net in April 1982; over a 9-d study period, only 1.6% of this estimated population was impinged. Concurrent survival probability studies of fish marked and released at locations inside and outside the barrier net showed that fish released inside had 72% lower survival.