Development of a Fish Passage Solution at the Puntledge Hydro Intake Facility
Fish Passage Policy and Technology: Proceedings of a Symposium
American Fisheries Society
The Puntledge River was developed for hydroelectric purposes in 1913 and was later redeveloped with increased penstock flows in 1957. Difficulties in implementing fish protection measures at that time led to a decision to close the river above the dam to fish passage. In 1988 a decision was made to regain natural production from habitat above the dams. Upstream passage was in place and a means to protect downstream migrant chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (O. kisutch), and steelhead trout (O. mykiss) was required. Initial work concentrated on the use of behavioral devices including strobe lights, a fish hammer, and a chain curtain. Bypass diversion rate was in the order of 8.6%. In 1990 a graduated electric fish guidance system was tested with 11.1% of the coho smolts being diverted. In 1991 and 1992 a temporary fish diversion net was used to divert 99% of test fish in both low flow years. The temporary net was designed to operate normal controlled stream flows of 1100 to 1200 cfs and would not function during uncontrolled freshet flows. The Eicher screen was chosen as the permanent solution following a review of existing designs and site limitations. A design was prepared and tested and construction was completed in May 1993. Fish diversion at the site in the first year of operation was 99.8% for the 8,900 juvenile coho migrants tested.