Sound Way to Save Fish

by John Nestler, Research Ecologist; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterway Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS,
Gene Ploskey, Aquatic Ecologist; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterway Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 9, Pg. 58-61


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Fish protection need not cost an arm and a fin. Using light and sound to spare fragile blueback herring and other species a harrowing fate, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers devised a fish protection system that reduced fish entrainment by 75% and cost less than $1 million. Pumped-storage hydropower dams can have substantial impacts on afterbay (tail race) fish communities. Many fish concentrate in the dam afterbay, either because the dam blocks seasonal migrations to historical spawning sites or because of attracting flow or water quality conditions associated with generation. In the afterbay, the reduced conveyance area in the headwaters of the downstream reservoir results in high water velocities in the general area of the dam, increasing the entrainment risk for fish. Entrainment during conventional generation is usually not a major concern, because fish density is lower in deep water near the dam and increased conveyance area upstream of the dam reduces approach velocities.

Subject Headings: Dams | Entrainment | Fish management | Hydro power | Pumped storage | United States Army Corps of Engineers

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