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Developing fish passage and protection at hydropower dams. (Special issue: Fish Behaviour and Welfare.)

By C. R. Schilt

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The development of waterways, for hydropower and other industrial uses, has substantially altered many of the freshwater habitats of the planet and this has had considerable impact upon aquatic organisms. Industrial changes in aquatic ecosystems, including hydropower development, can restrict or delay fish migration, increase predation, affect water quantity and quality, and subject fish to direct damage and stress. This review will focus on the consequences for fish welfare and the progress towards developing the means to pass and protect fish at hydropower dams, at water withdrawal facilities, and in other engineered aquatic environments. It primarily concerns the large mainstem hydropower dams in the Columbia-Snake River Basin in the northwestern United States. Some methods for improving fish passage and protection at hydropower dams involve modifications and additions to engineered structures and occasionally use sensory stimuli such as light, sound, turbulence, or electric fields to influence fish distributions. Measures to improve fish survival, like spilling water at a dam to provide non-turbine passage, can cause other problems for fish, for example higher dissolved gas concentrations downstream. Reducing losses of fish in industrial environments is desirable in both the industrialized world, where many fish-related problems currently exist, and in the developing world, where lessons already learned may make future development more cost-effective and benign.

Date 2007
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 104
Issue 3/4
Pages 295-325
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address LGL Ltd., Environmental Research Associates, P.O. Box 225, North Bonneville, WA 98639, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Aquacultural and fisheries
  4. Aquatic Biology and Ecology
  5. Aquatic organisms
  6. Biological resources
  7. Dams
  8. Developed countries
  9. Environment
  10. Fish
  11. North America
  12. OECD countries
  13. peer-reviewed
  14. pollution
  15. Reviews
  16. survival
  17. United States of America
  18. water
  19. wildlife conservation
  20. wildlife management
  1. peer-reviewed