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Alternative approaches to fsh passage
Several utilities are trying out unique
approaches in their eforts to move fsh
past dams. Public Utility District No. 1 of
Snohomish County in Washington provides
a great example, with its installation of a
volitional fsh passage structure. In fact, this
work won Snohomish County PUD a 2017
Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters
award from the National Hydropower
Association in the category of recreational,
environmental and historical enhancement.
Tis fsh passage was installed in conjunc-
tion with its 111.8-MW Henry M. Jackson
Hydroelectric Project. Te passage, at the City
of Everett’s Diversion Dam on the Sultan River,
was one of the proposed license articles from the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission during
project relicensing. Its intent was to provide
passage to additional fsh habitat upstream
on the river when and if it is needed based on
biological monitoring and triggers, with a goal
of increasing salmon and steelhead production.
Te approach is unique in that it involved
cutting through the dam and excavating
down to the river’s historic bottom elevation
to create a gated structure through which
the river fows. Fish can migrate upstream
or downstream through the dam without
changing their elevation in the water column.
New salmon redds have been discovered more
than 5 miles upstream from the dam, signaling
success of the work.
Other companies are willing to accept
trade-ofs to ensure adequate fsh passage.
Eugene Water & Electric Board has begun a
US$100 million rehabilitation and modern-
ization project at its 114-MW Carmen-Smith
facility on the upper McKenzie River that
will include improvements to facilitate fsh
passage. Among these is an agreement to no
longer generate electricity from its 10.5-MW
Trail Bridge powerhouse, in exchange for more
cost-efective, less intrusive fsh passage.
An important point of the negotiation for
this facility was the fact that “the proposed
settlement agreement establishes fsh passage
using an adaptive management approach
rather than facilities that are constructed to
meet specifc criteria established by the Federal
Agencies,” according to Resolution 1629.
EWEB will design, construct and operate
fsh passage facilities in consultation with and
approval by the federal fsh agencies, Forest
Service and FERC. If EWEB is unable to
show that those facilities are operating in a
manner that meets the fsh passage standards
required in the settlement agreement, EWEB
may be required to modify the passage facilities
or operations to improve fsh passage. ■
Nunnelley, Mark, et al, “The Largest Fish Protection
Improvement in PG&E’s History,” Hydro Review, Volume
36, No. 4, May 2017, www.hydroworld.com/articles/hr/
Suzuki, Fabio, and Paulo Santos Pompeu, “Tracking Fish
Behavior in the Tailrace of a Hydropower Plant,”
HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide, Volume 25, No. 1, January-February 2017, www.hydroworld.com/articles/print/
Elizabeth Ingram is managing editor of Hydro Review.