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Improving Fish Exclusion from Water Diversions and Intakes

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Posted March 12, 2019

The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, are seeking innovative methods for excluding fish from water diversions and intakes.

While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase effectiveness and decrease the costs associated with fish exclusion devices.  Proposed solutions can include new ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies. Solutions can be applied to river and canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes, or intakes at dams.  The prize purse for this challenge is $75,000.

Free image via Pixabay

Fish exclusion is a way of preventing movement of fish into a water diversion or intake. Without a fish exclusion device or method, fish can be entrained into the diversion or intake which means that they are removed from their natural environment. This can result in the loss of native fishes and reduced operating capabilities of the involved infrastructure.

Opportunities to reduce entrainment at diversions and intakes will promote more sustainable and reliable water resource systems that can provide greater benefits for aquatic species and the public. While effective fish exclusion for some fish species and life history stages can be achieved, improvements are needed to increase fish protection efficiencies, target a wider range of fish species and sizes, and reduce construction, operation, and maintenance costs compared to conventional fish exclusion methods.

Proposed solutions can include new ideas for addressing fish exclusion or improvements to existing technologies. Solutions can be applied to river and canal diversions, unscreened diversion pipes, or intakes at dams (e.g. turbine intakes or water regulation). Submissions that address fish exclusion for one or more species of concern in the United States (e.g. salmon, steelhead, sturgeon [green, pallid, shovelnose] and paddlefish, eel, lamprey [Pacific, brook, and river], Delta smelt, shad, suckers, river herring [alewife, blueback herring], bull trout) will be accepted.

A brief video describing this Challenge can be found here.

Challenge Is set to launch Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 12:00 pm ET.  Submissions will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET on May 6, 2019.  Late submissions will not be accepted.

Source: Challenge.gov

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