Analysis of Fish Diversion Efficiency and Survivorship in the Fish Return System at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station

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diversion, efficiency, fish diversion, ocean, high frequency, mortality

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Springfield, VA


U.S. Department of Commerce

Series Title

NOAA Technical Reports


This study examined the efficiency of fish diversion and survivorship of diverted fishes in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Fish Return System in 1984 and 1985. Generally, fishes were diverted back to the ocean with high frequency, particularly in 1984. Most species were diverted at rates of 80% or more. Over 90% of the most abundant species, Engraulis mordax, were diverted. The system worked particularly well for strong-swimming forms such as Paralabrax clathratus, Atherinopsis californiensis, and Xenistius californiensis, and did not appreciably divert weaker-swimming species such as Porichthys notatus, Heterostichus rostratus, and Syngnathus sp. Return rates of some species were not as high in 1985 as in 1984. Individuals of most tested species survived both transit through the fish return system and 96 hours in a holding net. Some species, such as E. mordax, X. californiensis, and Umbrina roncador, experienced little or no mortality. Survivorship of Seriphus politus was highly variable and no Anchoa delicatissima survived.

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