Assessment of downstream migrant fish protection technologies for hydroelectric application


E P. Taft

Publication Date





fish protection, protection, hydroelectric, engineering, restoration, fixed screen, screens, louvers, bypass, bypass systems, spillway

Report number

No. AP-4711

Publication place

Palo Alto, CA


Electric Power Research Institute


Objectives of the study were to 1) evaluate the capability of existing or potentially effective fish protection system to minimize the impacts of hydroelectric projects on downstream migrating fish, 2) to identify important biological and engineering criteria for successful application of fish protection systems and ascertain the extent to which these criteria limit the applicability of systems, and 3) to identify research, development and testing needs to improve the effectiveness, reduce costs and/or determine the applicability of the concepts which have not been fully evaluated to date.Tasks performed to meet the project objectives include: An assessment of the current-state-of-the-art of fish protection; A comparative evaluation of these systems in terms of their optimal design/operational requirements, existing or potential biological effectiveness, engineering and/or biological advantages and the need for further development and testing; A comparative assessment of protection systems based on engineering, biological and cost criteria; Delineation of methods of proposed research and development studies. The assessment of fish protection systems indicated that no single protection system presently exists which is biologically effective, reliable from an engineering viewpoint, considered acceptable for general use by various fishery management agencies and of reasonable cost. Because of the current regulatory climate, ongoing fish restoration programs, and the concern for even small fish losses, hydro applicants should work closely with regulatory agencies from early in the licensing process to determine the need for fish protection and to identify the most cost effective system for use at a specific site.Based on a ranking, a number of fish protection systems, not already under investigation, were recommended for further study. Recommendations for studies include two barrier devices (barracks and fixed screens) which have not been previously evaluated to any great extent, and the addition of lights (strobe and/or mercury) to three different diversion-type systems (louvers, other bypass systems and spillways) in order to improve or enhance existing system efficiencies. http://www.epri.com

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