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Facilitating fish passage at ultra low head dams: An alternative to dam removal

January 1, 2004

Ecosystem sustainability and returning the biological integrity to rivers continue to change the landscape of fish passage technology. Installing a conventional fishways has a limited degree of success in accommodating fish passage needs. Recently, the option of total dam removal has been gaining momentum among resource managers, conservationists, and even engineers. Certain dams, however, cannot be removed, and conventional fishways are either too expensive to build or the real estate is simply not available; yet freedom of passage must be attained. At the Little Falls Dam on the Potomac River a notch in the crest of the dam was installed to accommodate passage of fish. The notch has three labyrinth weirs used for energy dissipation. Water velocities are maintained at less than about 4 m/s anywhere within the passage structure during migratory season of the target species (American shad). Construction of this novel design was recently completed (March 2000) and future biological evaluations are ongoing. Copyright ASCE 2004.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2004
Title Facilitating fish passage at ultra low head dams: An alternative to dam removal
DOI 10.1061/40569(2001)332
Authors M. Odeh
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70035453
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization