Improving Fish Exclusion from Water Diversions and Intakes

  • Fish Exclusion competition poster.

    Launch: March 6, 2019
    Close: May 6, 2019

    The development of water resource infrastructure and operational criteria must conform with federal and state regulations that protect the environment and public health and safety. One specific environmental concern is the movement of aquatic species, most notably fish, out of natural habitats and into unnatural environments which may be harmful or deadly. This movement is referred to as “entrainment.” Opportunities to reduce entrainment at diversions and intakes will promote more sustainable and reliable water resource systems that can provide public benefits to a larger extent. While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase effectiveness and decrease the costs associated with fish exclusion devices.

    Reclamation, Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory seek innovative methods for excluding fish from water diversions and intakes. Proposed solutions can include alternatives to fish screens or improvements to existing fish screens and can be applied to river and canal diversions or unscreened diversion pipes. Solutions must improve fish protection efficiencies and/or reduce costs compared to conventional methods. During this competition, submissions for a broad range of species of concern (e.g. salmon, sturgeon, eels) will be accepted.

    This theoretical prize competition will encourage technology innovation and out-of-the-box thinking for a broad range of fish exclusion applications. A theoretical competition requires submission of a white paper describing in detail how the proposed solution can successfully exclude a certain species and size class of fish from a diversion or intake in a cost-effective manner.