Fishway Research at the Fisheries-Engineering Research Laboratory

Publication Date



channel, critical velocity, design, fatigue, fingerlings, fish passage, fish performance, fishway capacity, fishway design, hydraulics, light conditions, prototype, salmon, salmonids, slope, swimming, swimming ability, swimming speeds, water velocity

Journal or Book Title

U S Fish and Wildlife Service Circular


Results of four years of research on fishway problems, data on rates of movement of salmonids ascending fishways, and of spatial requirements of fish are given and experiments to measure fishway capacity are described. The effect of fishway slope and fishway length on fish performance and biochemical state were measured in 'endless' fishways. No evidence of fatigue was found when proper hydraulic conditions were obtained. One salmon ascended over 6,600 feet vertically. Experiments to measure swimming abilities of salmon indicated that the critical velocity was between 8 and 13 feet per second. Maximum observed swimming speed was 26.7 feet per second. Preferences of salmonids for water velocities and light conditions revealed marked differences between species. Effects of light and water velocity on rates of passage through channels and fishways are described. Experiments involving fingerling passage problems and the testing of fullscale prototype fishway designs are illustrated. Reports and publications on laboratory research are listed.





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