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Conservation of Migratory Fishes

Habitat fragmentation due to dams and poorly designed stream-crossings has significantly contributed to severe declines in recreational, commercial and ecologically important fish species. Because there are tremendous variations in the swimming ability and behavior of migratory fish, their life histories and physiologies, in the size and structure of dams, and in the rivers themselves, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ fish passage structure. The Center’s unique laboratory and diverse scientific disciplines supports a multi-faceted approach to migratory fish conservation focusing on the design and evaluation of fish passage structures, fish performance, physiology, behavior, ecology and energetics and incorporates mathematical models of fish distributions, using animations readily understood by managers and the public. The ability of fish to successfully use fishways, and complete their migration and reproductive cycles, is determined through physiological assessments of their ability to move between rivers and oceans, and their ability to reproduce as conditions change in rivers (temperature and flow rate) and coastal waters (ocean acidification, salinity, temperature).

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Fish Passage

A major focus of USGS-LSC is the design and evaluation of state-of the-art upstream and downstream fish passage structures for hydropower facilities of different sizes and locations and for different fish species, including endangered sturgeons and Atlantic salmon. Performance, physiology, behavior and energetics of each fish species are tested in-house for each design.
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Fish Passage

A major focus of USGS-LSC is the design and evaluation of state-of the-art upstream and downstream fish passage structures for hydropower facilities of different sizes and locations and for different fish species, including endangered sturgeons and Atlantic salmon. Performance, physiology, behavior and energetics of each fish species are tested in-house for each design.
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The West Brook Story

Natural systems, like rivers and streams, are remarkably complex, with many interacting parts. Data visualization tools make understanding and communicating complex ecological processes easier. Effective visualizations help users learn about patterns in data and how models work. Interactive visualizations are particularly useful, as they let users explore data and develop a personal understanding...
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The West Brook Story

Natural systems, like rivers and streams, are remarkably complex, with many interacting parts. Data visualization tools make understanding and communicating complex ecological processes easier. Effective visualizations help users learn about patterns in data and how models work. Interactive visualizations are particularly useful, as they let users explore data and develop a personal understanding...
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Conservation Engineering

Engineering has an important role to play in the conservation of migratory fish species. As a result of anthropogenic development on river systems, full and partial barriers to fish movement commonly exist in watersheds worldwide. There is an estimated 2.5 million barriers to fish migration in the United States alone. These barriers typically consist of small to large size dams, culverts, and...
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Conservation Engineering

Engineering has an important role to play in the conservation of migratory fish species. As a result of anthropogenic development on river systems, full and partial barriers to fish movement commonly exist in watersheds worldwide. There is an estimated 2.5 million barriers to fish migration in the United States alone. These barriers typically consist of small to large size dams, culverts, and...
Learn More

Fish Passage Hydraulic Flume

Many existing upstream and downstream fish passage structure designs (fishways, culverts, screens, downstream bypasses, etc.) function poorly or only for a narrow range of species or environmental conditions. Agencies currently seek improved or new designs that pass a broader range of species with increased efficiency and reliability, under a wider range of hydraulic operating conditions, and at...
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Fish Passage Hydraulic Flume

Many existing upstream and downstream fish passage structure designs (fishways, culverts, screens, downstream bypasses, etc.) function poorly or only for a narrow range of species or environmental conditions. Agencies currently seek improved or new designs that pass a broader range of species with increased efficiency and reliability, under a wider range of hydraulic operating conditions, and at...
Learn More