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Assessment of a retrofitted downstream fish bypass system for wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts and kelts at a hydroelectric facility on the Exploits River, Newfoundland, Canada

  • D. A. Scruton
  • C. J. Pennell
  • C. E. Bourgeois
  • R. F. Goosney
  • T. R. Porter
  • K. D. Clarke
Fish Telemetry
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology 195 book series (DIHY, volume 195)

Abstract

In 2002 and 2003, the Bishops Falls hydroelectric generating facility on the Exploits River, insular Newfoundland, Canada, underwent extensive refurbishing including replacement of turbines and installation of a ‘retrofitted’ bypass and fish handling system. The effectiveness of this new bypass system has been assessed during the annual downstream run of wild Atlantic salmon smolt and kelt in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, 195 smolt were radio tagged and released between June 9 and July 2, in the forebay of the hydro plant (19 releases) and one upstream (in-river) release. Fish guidance efficiency (FGE) of the system overall was 63% (123 of 195 fish) with 36 fish passing through the turbines, and six known mortalities. In 2004, between June 9 and July 2, a total of 358 smolt and 103 kelt were released in the forebay in 45 and 13 releases (n = 8 per release), respectively. The FGE of the system for smolt was 71.7% (257 of 358 fish) and for kelt was 92.3% (95 of 103 fish). In 2004, 96 tagged smolt passed through the turbines and 43 (44.8%) were detected at a downstream station confirming they had survived turbine passage, suggesting an overall survival of smolt passage of the Bishops Falls hydro facility in the order of 85%. A total of seven kelts (6.8%) passed through the turbines and were not detected 1.5 km downstream suggesting they did not survive turbine passage. Smolt spent on average 39.8 h in the forebay before exiting in 2003 and forebay residency averaged 26 h in 2004. In both years, most smolt selected their passage route, actively or passively, within the first 10 h with secondary peaks at 25–30 h and 50–55 h, corresponding to evening passage in the second and third night, after release. Few smolt were bypassed or entrained into turbines during daylight hours. In both years turbine passed smolt spent more time in the forebay suggesting the longer fish reside in the forebay the greater the likelihood of turbine entrainment. Kelt were either bypassed or turbine entrained relatively quickly, within 2 h of release, and virtually all kelts were bypassed/turbine entrained during the hours of 18:00 and 01:00. These data on fish behaviour and residency in the forebay will assist further refinement of operations of the bypass facility to optimize survival.

Keywords

Fish telemetry Hydroelectric developments Fish passage Atlantic salmon Smolt Downstream migration Bypasses 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. A. Scruton
    • 1
  • C. J. Pennell
    • 1
  • C. E. Bourgeois
    • 1
  • R. F. Goosney
    • 1
  • T. R. Porter
    • 1
  • K. D. Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Fisheries and Oceans CanadaScience BranchJohn’sCanada

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