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Downstream fish passage guide walls: A hydraulic scale model analysis

March 15, 2018

Partial-depth guide walls are used to improve passage efficiency and reduce the delay of out-migrating anadromous fish species by guiding fish to a bypass route (i.e. weir, pipe, sluice gate) that circumvents the turbine intakes, where survival is usually lower. Evaluation and monitoring studies, however, indicate a high propensity for some fish to pass underneath, rather than along, the guide walls, compromising their effectiveness. In the present study we evaluated a range of guide wall structures to identify where/if the flow field shifts from sweeping (i.e. flow direction primarily along the wall and towards the bypass) to downward-dominant. Many migratory fish species, particularly juveniles, are known to drift with the flow and/or exhibit rheotactic behaviour during their migration. When these behaviours are present, fish follow the path of the flow field. Hence, maintaining a strong sweeping velocity in relation to the downward velocity along a guide wall is essential to successful fish guidance. Nine experiments were conducted to measure the three-dimensional velocity components upstream of a scale model guide wall set at a wide range of depths and angles to flow. Results demonstrated how each guide wall configuration affected the three-dimensional velocity components, and hence the downward and sweeping velocity, along the full length of the guide wall. In general, the velocities produced in the scale model were sweeping dominant near the water surface and either downward dominant or close to the transitional depth near the bottom of the guide wall. The primary exception to this shift from sweeping do downward flow was for the minimum guide wall angle tested in this study (15°). At 15° the flow pattern was fully sweeping dominant for every cross-section, indicating that a guide wall with a relatively small angle may be more likely to produce conditions favorable to efficient guidance. A critical next step is to evaluate the behaviour of migratory fish as they approach and swim along a guide wall in a controlled laboratory environment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Downstream fish passage guide walls: A hydraulic scale model analysis
DOI 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.02.006
Authors Kevin Mulligan, Brett Towler, Alexander J. Haro, David P. Ahlfeld
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecological Engineering
Index ID 70196049
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Leetown Science Center