Project Name: Holyoke Dam Bypass Louver

Summary: American eel guidance study

Client: Electric Power Research Institute

Project Location: Holyoke, MA

Services Provided:
•  Fish Passage Effectiveness Study
•  Agency Consultation
•  Fish Passage Engineering

Project Timeframe:

Relationship with Client: Since 2001

Client Needs:

Research on how angled louvers may influence the downstream movement and behavior of fishes at hydroelectric facilities is valuable to the hydropower industry and resource agencies. This is particularly important during licensing or other environmental assessments and where resource agencies have made a preliminary identification of louvers as a fish protection measure. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) contracted with Kleinschmidt to investigate the behavior of radio-tagged American eels as they interact with the angled louver array and associated structures, including evaluating the influence of surgically implanted radio tags on eel movement and behavior along a 440-foot louver array at the Holyoke Project.

Kleinschmidt Solution:

Kleinschmidt designed and implemented a study that investigated the migratory movement of eels that were guided along the louver array, or passed through the louver array. Radio-tags were surgically implanted into 60 adult eels. Tagged eels were released in the upper power canal and their movements were monitored using a fixed radio telemetry array to determine the efficiency of the louver to guide eels to the downstream bypass and investigate behavior along the louver and associated structures. Underwater dipole antennas were deployed along the length of the louver array to determine depth and speed of travel. This configuration provided for the monitoring of behavioral responses to the physical presence of the louvers. The canal was operated at three flow regimes of 1,000; 2,500; and 2,800 cfs to address behavior and guidance at different velocities. The report included an analysis of the data obtained from the radio receivers with the primary objective of describing the behavior of migrating eels at hydroelectric facilities. Kleinschmidt had previously conducted a similar study to assess louver guidance effectiveness for shortnose sturgeon at the Holyoke Project.

Client Benefits:

Kleinschmidt leveraged its extensive experience with American eel passage and radio telemetry techniques to meet the study objectives of providing additional information concerning the effectiveness of angled bar racks and louvers for diverting migrating fish away from turbine intakes and towards downstream bypasses.