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Effectiveness of common fish screen materials for protecting lamprey ammocoetes—Influence of sweeping velocities and decreasing flows

December 14, 2017

In previous tests of the effectiveness of four common fish screen materials for excluding lamprey ammocoetes, we determined that woven wire (WW) allowed substantially more entrainment than perforated plate (PP), profile bar (PB), or Intralox (IL) material. These tests were simplistic because they used small vertically-oriented screens positioned perpendicular to the flow without a bypass or a sweeping velocity (SV). In the subsequent test discussed in this report, we exposed ammocoetes to much larger (2.5-m-wide) screen panels with flows up to 10 ft3 /s, a SV component, and a simulated bypass channel. The addition of a SV modestly improved protection of lamprey ammocoetes for all materials tested. A SV of 35 cm/s with an approach velocity (AV) of 12 cm/s, was able to provide protection for fish about 5–15 mm smaller than the protection provided by an AV of 12 cm/s without a SV component. The best-performing screen panels (PP, IL, and PB) provided nearly complete protection from entrainment for fish greater than 50-mm toal length, but the larger openings in the WW material only protected fish greater than 100-mm total length. Decreasing the AV and SV by 50 percent expanded the size range of protected lampreys by about 10–15 mm for those exposed to IL and WW screens, and it decreased the protective ability of PP screens by about 10 mm. Much of the improvement for IL and WW screens under the reduced flow conditions resulted from an increase in the number of lampreys swimming away from the screen. Fish of all sizes became impinged (that is, stuck on the screen surface for more than 1 s) on the screens, with the rate of impingement highest on PP (39– 72 percent) and lowest on WW (7–22 percent). Although impingements were common, injuries were rare, and 24-h post-test survival was greater than 99 percent. Our results refined the level of protection provided by these screen materials when both an AV and SV are present and confirmed our earlier recommendation that WW screens be replaced with more effective materials. Future work should focus on determining the risks associated with other screen types (for example, rotary drum screens, horizontal flat plate screens) and exploring the effectiveness of higher SV:AV ratios, because it may help expand the range of sizes protected by the best performing materials.

Publication Year 2017
Title Effectiveness of common fish screen materials for protecting lamprey ammocoetes—Influence of sweeping velocities and decreasing flows
DOI 10.3133/ofr20171163
Authors Matthew G. Mesa, Theresa L. Liedtke, Lisa K. Weiland, Helena E. Christiansen
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2017-1163
Index ID ofr20171163
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center