Helping Fish Move Freely: Study On Target Species And Swimming Ability, And How Fishways Can Help

Science Trends –

Dams have expanded rapidly in the world. People focus on issues ranging from irrigation, hydroelectric power, water resource allocation, and ecological restoration and believe it will facilitate future operations.

Although dams carry out enormous economic benefits and promote the development of society, they also influence the hydrological regime, water chemistry, and biological habitats, especially when it comes to river connectivity, often resulting in fragmentation.

Dams obstruct fish from freely moving in rivers. Many fish species have migratory behavior. For examples, many adult salmon and sturgeon migrate for long distance to spawn. Their offspring juvenile fish migrate to find food. Besides, before winter comes, some fish migrate to warmer areas. Dams might obstruct gene exchange between fish populations. Therefore, people try to design and build fishways to help fish go upstream or downstream safely and quickly. Depending on the design, fishways are classified as technical structures, nature-like structures, and special-purpose structures (such as fish lifts).

China is planning to build the Huangdeng Dam on the Mekong River. The dam will obstruct fish moving with freedom in this area. Therefore, we investigated fish information near the dam and tested their swimming ability. Then fish lift design suggestions were provided.

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