Fish Protection/ Passage Technologies Evaluated by EPRI and Guidelines for their Application

Publication Date



Prepared for Electric Power Research Institute http://www.epri.com


barrier nets, Eicher screen, entrainment, fish protection, guidance, high velocity, Hydropower, inclined screen, intake, mercury lights, modular inclined screen, protection, sound, strobe light, water velocity

Report number

EPRI TR-104120

Publication place

Palo Alto, CA


Electric Power Research Institute


This report provides guidance for those readers faced with the problem of selecting an appropriate fish protection technology for a site and for designing an effective application. Three main categories of technology are addressed: high-velocity fish screens, barrier nets, and behavioral guidance systems. Each of these technologies offers the potential to provide effective protection at a significant cost savings compared to conventional low-velocity screening systems. The high-velocity fish screens described in this report include the Eicher screen (designed for penstock applications) and the Modular Inclined Screen developed by EPRI for application at any water intake. The behavioral guidance systems include strobe lights, mercury lights, and, to a lesser extent, sound systems. This report is designed to provide the reader with sufficient information to evaluate the potential effectiveness of these technologies for the species of concern at a given site, the impact of site specific conditions, and guidance for designing an effective installation. For those requiring more detailed information on a particular technology, appropriate source reports are identified in each section. In particular, two EPRI reviews (one published in 1986 and the second currently in press) provide a comprehensive summary of recent fish protection studies. All three of the technology categories examined in this document (high-velocity fish screens, barrier nets, and behavioral guidance systems) show considerable promise for providing effective fish protection at many sites. High-velocity screening systems appear to be capable of providing effective fish protection at many sites. High-velocity screening systems appear to be capable of providing protection rates exceeding 99% for most species and size ranges of fish. Barrier nets, given proper site conditions including low water velocities, debris, and wave action, offer a very cost-effective means to reduce fish entrainment by 90% or more at many sites. Field and laboratory studies indicate that behavioral guidance systems may offer an effective solution for many sites, but limited information on the effectiveness of full-scale field applications remains an obstacle to widespread application. However, the successful results obtained during the studies funded by EPRI and York Haven and in several other recent studies are likely to result in full-scale testing or behavioral guidance systems at several additional sites in the near future. http://www.epri.com

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