Reducing impingement of alewives with high-frequency sound at a power plant intake on Lake Ontario

Publication Date



impingement, high frequency, sound, power plant, intake, nuclear power, offshore, design

Journal or Book Title

North American Journal of Fisheries Management


From April 22 through July 20, 1993, we conducted a follow-up study to confirm that high-frequency broadband sound (122-128 kHz) at a source level (in decibels dB in reference to 1mu Pa) of 190 dB reduced the impingement of alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus) at the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant (JAF), located on Lake Ontario near Oswego, New York. During the first full-scale test in 1991, the sound field covered only the front of the JAF intake. In this second full-scale test, the sound field included the top, sides, and rear of the JAF intake to prevent fish from approaching the intake from those directions when the JAF reactor was shutdown and the hot water discharge, located 57 m offshore from the intake, disappeared. Our study also provided the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the deterrent system during a mass die-off of alewives that occurred in Lake Ontario during late spring and early summer in 1993. We used a before-after-control-impact pairs (BACIP) design to test and quantify the effectiveness of the deterrent system. The new sound field reduced the impingement of alewives by 81-84% during a year following an unusually cold winter and should reduce impingement by 87% during most years.





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