Evaluation of Underwater Strobe Lights as a Means of Reducing Fish Entrainment at Dams and Diversions

Project ID: 1081
Principal Investigator: Steve Hiebert
Research Topic: Fish Passage and Entrainment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004 and 2005
Keywords: None

Research Question

* Are underwater strobe lights effective behavioral barriers and are there conditions that limit the effectiveness of the strobe lights as a fish entrainment reduction technique?

* Are there undesirable physiological effects on fish eyes or disorientation behaviour that negate fish response to high intensity strobe lights?

Need and Benefit

Very little field testing of strobe lights on fish behavior and physiology has been conducted, and more information regarding fish behavior and physiology is necessary prior to spending large sums of money to deploy and operate a relatively unproven and continually evolving technology. This research program is divided into several tasks that will be performed within the broader research project each year, and all tasks will be linked where appropriate with the large underwater strobe light research program being conducted at Grand Coulee Dam.

Kokanee salmon (_Oncorhynchus nerka_) of Roosevelt Lake origin will be tested for disorientation behavior during and after exposure to differing periods of high intensity strobe light. This will involve documenting behavioral responses of the fish during and after exposure to the strobe lights. Intensity of light will be monitored during fish exposure and flows will be used that mimic those experienced by fish in the entrance to the Third Powerhouse.

The testing of a small array of lights in the forebay of the Third Powerhouse at Grand Coulee Dam, Washington, will be to determine the strobe light characteristics and water quality conditions that elicit a behavioral response in fish and document the behavioral response of the fish to the range of test conditions.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Please contact research@usbr.gov about research products related to this project.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20