Net and Hydroacoustic Monitoring of Fish Passage

by John Downing, Stone & Webster Environmental, Services, Boston, United States,
Paul Martin, 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


In 1986 EPRI published a review of available fish protection technologies for use at hydroelectric facilities. One major conclusion of that study was that fish protection systems were being required at hydro facilities even when there were no data to demonstrate the need for fish protection. Costly systems were being installed at hydro stations to address turbine passage of fish when there were no measurable benefits from the system. The level of effort required by the fisheries resource agencies to measure and monitor fish passage was often more costly than installation of a fish protection system. To address the high costs of conducting fish passage studies at hydro facilities, EPRI funded a study of the effectiveness and reliability of hydroacoustic sampling methods. After a review of possible sites for conducting the comparative evaluation, Wisconsin Electric Power Company's Pine Hydroelectric Project was chosen. Based on a site review it was determined that it would be infeasible to conduct hydroacoustic sampling in the area between the trash racks and penstocks. Under full operating conditions a 'wandering' vortex was occasionally formed that pulled air into the operating unit and into the region to be ensonified with hydroacoustics. The sampling location was chosen as the entrance to the power canal even though it was understood that fish were not committed to passage into the hydro units at this location. This location was the best location available and the conditions were representative of many hydroelectric projects.

Subject Headings: Fish management | Electric power | Hydro power | Power plants | Hydrologic data | Site investigation | Comparative studies | Construction costs | Wisconsin | United States

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