Evaluation of a Velocity-Related Fish Passage Problem Downstream of the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development, Newfoundland

Publication Date



barriers, burst speed, computer models, downstream fish passage, environmental impact, field velocities, fish passage, flow regimes, habitat, hydroelectric, migration, mitigation, model studies, models, monitoring, salmon, spawning, swimming speeds, trout

Journal or Book Title

Canadian Water Resources Journal


A potential velocity barrier which could preclude the migration of ouananiche and brook trout to their spawning habitat in the upper West Salmon River was identified downstream of the Upper Salmon Hydroelectric Development. An HEC-2 backwater computer model was used to assess current velocities downstream of the project and to identify areas where fish passage might be prevented. Predicted velocities in three areas appeared to be only marginally greater than that thought to be critical, indicating that fish passage might not be prevented. As a consequence, a post-development monitoring study was undertaken to determine the success of fish passage and the need for mitigation. The monitoring study found that fish passage was unimpeded under the post-development flow regime and that no mitigation was required. The interdisciplinary approach used to evaluate this velocity-related fish passage problem is discussed, and the interaction between regulator and proponent is examined in relation to the environmental impact assessment process.





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