May 6, 2011

Characterization of Fish Passage Conditions through a Francis Turbine, Spillway, and Regulating Outlet at Detroit Dam, Oregon, Using Sensor Fish, 2009


Fish passage conditions through two spillways, a Francis turbine, and a regulating outlet (RO) at Detroit Dam on the North Santiam River in Oregon were evaluated by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Portland District, using Sensor Fish devices. The objective of the study was to describe and compare passage exposure conditions, identifying potential fish injury regions within the routes. The study was performed in July, October, and December 2009 concurrent with HI-Z balloon-tag studies by Normandeau Associates, Inc. Sensor Fish data were analyzed to estimate 1) exposure conditions, particularly exposure to severe strike, collision, and shear events by passage route sub-regions; 2) differences in passage conditions between passage routes; and 3) relationships to live-fish injury and mortality data estimates. Comparison of the three passage routes evaluated at Detroit Dam indicates that the RO passage route through the 5-ft gate opening was relatively the safest route for fish passage under the operating conditions tested; turbine passage was the most deleterious. These observations were supported also by the survival and malady estimates obtained from live-fish testing. Injury rates were highest for turbine and spillway passage. However, none of the passage routes tested is safe for juvenile salmonid passage.

Revised: May 13, 2011 | Published: May 6, 2011