Researching a Concept for a Self Regulating Articulated Fishway 2

Project ID: 6294
Principal Investigator: Bryan Heiner
Research Topic: Fish Passage and Entrainment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2015
Keywords: articulated fishway, self-regulating, floating fishway

Research Question

This project is a continuation of the Project ID: 9548 - Researching a Concept for a Self-Regulating Articulated Fishway. The original project was funded during fiscal year 2013. At this time a physical model of the fishway was built and tested in Reclamation's hydraulics laboratory. This research has showed very positive results. Hydraulically the fishway preforms very well and does not pose any hydraulic barriers to passing fish. Testing over a range of fishway slopes was performed and all results have been documented. A draft report has been submitted through the Prop C system.
Given the location in the laboratory the float method for self-regulating the fishway was not fully analyzed. Small floats were placed on the sides and bottom of the fishyway, however they were inadequate to successfully self- regulate. Larger floats could not be tried because of space limitations in the flume where the fishway is currently installed. Additional time and budget in fiscal year 2015 are required to move the fishway to a larger flume so that larger floats can be evaluated. This proposal is to move the fishway to a large flume in the laboratory and to evaluate the use of larger floats to achieve self-regulation of the fishway.

The original research question is:
Can we develop a standard design for a self-regulating articulated fishway that can be used at small diversion dams with water surface fluctuations of ranging between about 1 to 3 ft? A self-regulating fishway refers to one that self adjusts to changing headwater elevations in order to control flow that passes through the fishway.

Need and Benefit

Fishways constructed on small systems with very limited instream flows often result in the fishways being shut down during high diversion periods or weir boards placed in the fishway to restrict flows. These actions result from the common practice of designing a fishway to provide passage over a range of headwater elevations, resulting varying amounts of flow passing through the fishway with diversion elevation. The inability to design for a fixed fishway flow often prohibits the construction of fishways on small diversion dams or results in frequent closure of fishways by diverters.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Researching a Concept for a Self Regulating Articulated Fishway 2 (final, PDF, 3.4MB)
By Dale Lentz
Publication completed on September 30, 2015

A self-regulating articulated fishway was evaluated at the Bureau of Reclamation's Hydraulic Laboratory. The fishway is designed to be installed at low head diversion structures where the reservoir water surface elevation fluctuates regularly by less than 3 ft. The fishway will adjust to the upstream change in water surface elevation to provide a constant fishway discharge, without adversely affecting the hydraulics in the fishway.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20