< Back to list of FY 2007-2009 projects

200725600 - Physical and Biological Testing of a Flow Velocity Enhancement System

Sponsor: Natural Solutions

Budgets: FY07: $251,546 | FY08: $330,691 | FY09: $0

Short description: Natural Solution’s patented Flow Velocity Enhancement System has been developed to provide migration cues using mechanically generated turbulent-flow fields. It is proposed that strategic placement of these flow fields will enhance smolt migration.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable


The problem regarding migrational passage problems of juvenile salmonids at hydroelectric projects is extensively described, and the rationale for potential passage benefits of an effective system is well defined. The “low flow” fish passage problem is identified in several subbasin plans. The proposal makes good use of studies in the basin that have described behavior of juvenile salmonids in response to flow, and identifies a device that might produce flows for guiding them to appropriate passage routes. There is nothing quite comparable being funded through the Fish and Wildlife Program. The proposal includes reference to an existing research project, the Cowlitz Falls Fish Collection Facility (presumably funded by Tacoma Power Public Utility District (PUD)), which includes radio tagged juvenile salmonids used to evaluate the effectiveness of a trap above Cowlitz Falls Dam. Fish that escape the trap will be available for use in evaluation of the device’s (eductor) effects on migrating fish. The trap is operated by WDFW. The operators will provide data on timing of fish migrations and other elements. The phased, systematic development of the eductor technology is good. They propose to set up the turbulence-generating eductors, characterize the flows, observe fish-flow interactions with a Didson camera, and enumerate the guidance of fish into a trap. It is not clear how they will express the flows and the turbulence intensity, or what aspect of the generated flows will be related to fish behavior. For example, if they see a fish response, will they know what precise aspect of the flow field caused it? Unless they are able to focus on particular parameters (e.g., velocity difference between the spot where fish reacted and that in reservoir, or turbulence intensity or size), they will not know what to manipulate experimentally in Phase II. There is a need to get away from trial-and-error that characterizes many of these studies. The proposal was responsive to earlier concerns (ISRP comment in 2003) that shear-related mortality might be a factor in this experimental system. This research has potential of facilitating or improving effectiveness of juvenile fish passage facilities in the basin such as the removable spillway weir (RSW).

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: This project should be considered within the USACE AFEP research process. The effort is mainly focused at mainstem federal dams in the far forebay to entrain fish prior to the confused currents directly in front of the dams. This request is for phase one of the evaluation. This work needs to be well coordinated with other passage improvement projects to insure no overlap and integration with other research efforts by the USACE.