The number of salmon migrating up US rivers has declined significantly in recent years, bringing hydro plants under increased scrutiny. Indeed, fish protection has become the biggest issue in hydro plant relicensing, and utilities across the country are under pressure to step up their fish protection efforts. Currently, much of the regulatory emphasis is focused on downstream passage technologies. EPRI's laboratory and field tests have identified the most promising of these technologies. However, the effectiveness of each approach varies according to the site and the fish species and life stage.
The United States Department of Energy's Hydropower Program has recently completed a study of fish passage and protection mitigation practices at conventional hydroelectric projects. The study used 16 projects as case studies to provide detailed illustrations of mitigation practices, allowing a better understanding of the resource and economic requirements, and the ramifications of mitigation choices. The study also surveyed fish passage and protection mitigation practices at 1,825 hydroelectric plants regulated by FERC to determine the frequencies of occurrence, temporal trends and regional practices based on FERC regions. Facilities with upstream mitigation employed fish ladders (62% of facilities), trapping and hauling (11%), fish lifts (5%), and other methods (35%). Some facilities used multiple forms of mitigation, this accounts for the percentage total greater than 100%. Downstream mitigation is used in some form at 13% of the 1,825 sites studied. Mitigation costs varied greatly, depending on the size of the facility and extent of mitigation. Fish ladder capital costs rang from $1000- $34.6million with an average cost of $7.4million per fish ladder. The costs of fish passage and protection measures can have significant effects on the economics of a project. However, forecasting the need for fish passage mitigation is complicated due to many site-specific concerns. Specific mitigation needs are often met with specific technologies including fish lifts, trapping and hauling systems, or fish ladders. In any case, mitigation determinations should be made with an eye toward biological needs as well as economic feasibility.
American Rivers produced abstract
This document is a review of literature regarding riverine fish movement, and an evaluation as to whether or not unrestricted passage would benefit fish populations within the Oswego River. Information presented within this report will be used to determine if providing effective (safe, timely, convenient) fishways at Oswego Falls and other hydroelectric projects on the Oswego River is biologically justified. Topics include: Physical and environmental development of the Oswego River; Oswego fish community; Oswego water quality; Biological need for fish passage; Riverine fish an long distance movements; Restriceted movement of fish within the Oswego River; Benefits of providing fish passage within the Oswego River.
American Rivers produced abstract
The obstacles to the spawning success of anadromous fish which were documented in a preceding report, "Impediments to the Spawning Success of Anadromous Fish in Tributaries of the NY/NJ Harbor Watershed" [American Littoral Society, September 1992], have been reviewed. The tributaries most conducive to supporting anadromous fish spawning have been selected on the basis of examining the parameters which affect spawning success, including seasonal temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, presence of pollution and debris, bottom consistency, and the current support or history of supporting a run. This supplementary management guideline gives outlined plans to restore anadromous spawning runs to nine Harbor tributaries.
On each of the nine tributaries selected for anadromous run restoration, the main factor which adversely affects anadromous spawning has been identified as the problem to be resolved, and the most effective solution and method needed to restore a run has been matched. The agenda needed to ensure run restoration differs for each tributary system, due to the variation in conditions. For each system, a series of necessary steps lead up to an ultimate goal, resulting in the restoration of an anadromous fish spawning run.
Tributaries physically blocked by dam impediments require bypass' this can best be achieved through the installation, maintenance, and operation of a fish bypass structure. Bypass through the use of a fish ladder is recommended for the large structural impediments known as Swimming River/Monmouth Reservoir Dam, Shadow Lake Dam, Dundee Dam, and Oradell Reservoir dam. Bypass using a small fish bypass structure is suggested for the smaller impediments know as Richmond Creek Dam and Wolfe's Pond Dam.
On other waterways, such as the Second River and Saddle River tributaries and the section of the Hackensack River which is located in the Hackensack Meadowlands, unique programs have been created to optimize the present of future habitat to support anadromous fish spawning.
The purpose of this report is to unite the agencies, dam owners, and other important parties, to become cooperatively involved in anadromous fish run restoration. The exact steps needed have been created and are included in this report to hasten the process.