Attempts to Alleviate Fish Losses from Allegheny Reservoir, Pennsylvania and New York, Using Acoustics

Publication Date



acoustics, Allegheny Reservoir, diversion, intake, low frequencies, pool, recorded sound, releases, sound, tailrace, upstream, walleye

Journal or Book Title

North American Journal of Fisheries Management


As a consequence of pool drawdown each fall and winter to enhance flood storage, numerous fish are lost through the bottom sluices of Allegheny Reservoir (located on the western border of Pennsylvania and New York). The sudden release of pressure accompanying the passage of these fish from a deep zone of the reservoir into the tailrace can result in a substantial fish kill. The conditions under which fish are lost apparently are enhanced when the pool level is low and discharge is high. In an effort to reduce these losses, underwater broadcasts of recorded sound effects were tested. The sound projector was a low-frequency transducer mounted above the bottom sluices on the upstream face of the dam. While the sound broadcasts were being evaluated, the Corps of Engineers maintained a higher winter pool at the project to test the effect of controlled flow releases on ice formation at downriver locations. Although the underwater sound broadcasts were not effective, maintenance of a higher winter pool resulted in a marked reduction in the fish losses.





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