Review of Mitigation Methods for Fish Passage, Instream Flows, and Water Quality

by Steven F. Railsback, Oak Ridge Natl Lab, Oak Ridge, United States,
Glenn F. Cada, Oak Ridge Natl Lab, Oak Ridge, United States,
Lisa H. Chang, Oak Ridge Natl Lab, Oak Ridge, United States,
Michael J. Sale, Oak Ridge Natl Lab, Oak Ridge, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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


Current environmental mitigation practices at nonfederal hydropower projects were analyzed. Information was obtained from project operators on dissolved oxygen (DO) mitigation, instream flows, upstream fish passage facilities, and downstream fish passage facilities. The most common method for DO mitigation is the use of spill flows, which are costly because of lost power generation. DO concentrations are commonly monitored, but biological effects of DO mitigation are not. At many projects, instream flow requirements have been set without reference to formalized methods. About half of the projects with instream flow requirements monitor flow rates, but few monitor fish populations to verify that instream flows are effective. Angled bar racks are the most commonly used downstream fish passage devices and fish ladders are the most commonly used upstream fish passage devices. Fish passage rates or populations have been monitored to verify the effectiveness of passage mitigation at few projects. This analysis is the first phase of an evaluation of the costs, benefits, and effectiveness of mitigation measures.

Subject Headings: Water quality | Rivers and streams | Fish management | Instream flow | Water flow | Hydro power | Verification | Power plants

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