Researching a Concept for a Self Regulating Articulated Fishway

Project ID: 9548
Principal Investigator: Dale Lentz
Research Topic: Fish Passage and Entrainment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2013
Keywords: articulated fishway, self regulating, floating fishway

Research Question

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.

Designing Fish Ladders to Automatically Adjust to Varying Water Surface Levels (final, PDF, 979KB)
By Dale Lentz
Publication completed on September 30, 2014

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20