A Demonstration of Strobe Lights to Repel Fish

by Paul Martin, Stone & Webster Environmental, Services, Boston, United States,
John Downing, Stone & Webster Environmental, Services, Boston, United States,
Ned Taft, Stone & Webster Environmental, Services, Boston, United States,
Charles Sullivan, Stone & Webster Environmental, Services, Boston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '91: A New View of Hydro Resources

Abstract: An EPRI review (EPRI, 1986) of fish protection systems for hydroelectric facilities identified strobe lights as a potential behavioral system to minimize fish entrainment. In 1988, EPRI initiated an evaluation of juvenile American shad response to strobe lights at Metropolitan Edison's York Haven Power Station on the Susquehanna River. During their fall migration, juvenile shad accumulate in the forebay. In 1988, using a raft mounted with four strobe lights, it was clearly demonstrated that shad could be excluded from the area in front of the trash racks, and bypassed through a sluiceway into the tailrace. Hydroacoustics were used to monitor the effectiveness of the strobe lights. In 1989, six rafts supporting 22 strobe lights were moored in front of the trash racks. Unit outages and river flooding limited a full evaluation of the strobe system. Under limited test conditions, it was possible to confirm shad avoidance of strobe lights similar to that observed in 1988. In 1990, testing was performed with a fully operational strobe system under normal flow conditions and hydraulics. Testing showed that shad could be effectively passed around the York Haven Station. The results of the 1990 studies were more extensive than those of 1989, however, flood waters again limited complete testing of the system.

Subject Headings: Power plants | Fish management | Light (artificial) | Hydro power | Electric power | Rivers and streams | Solid wastes | Protective structures | Pennsylvania | North America | United States

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