A surface flow bypass takes advantage of the natural surface orientation of most juvenile salmon Oncorhynchus spp. and steelhead O. mykiss by providing a route in the upper water column that downstream migrant fishes can use to pass a hydroelectric dam safely. A prototype structure, called the surface bypass and collector (SBC), was retrofitted on the powerhouse of Lower Granite Dam and was evaluated annually with biotelemetry and hydroacoustic techniques during the 5-year life span of the structure (1996-2000) to determine the entrance configuration that maximized passage efficiency and minimized forebay residence time. The best tested entrance configuration had maximum inflow (99 m 3/s) concentrated in a single surface entrance (5 m wide, 8.5 m deep). We identified five important considerations for future surface flow bypass development in the lower Snake River and elsewhere: (1) an extensive flow net should be formed in the forebay by use of relatively high surface flow bypass discharge (>7% of total project discharge); (2) a gradual increase in water velocity with increasing proximity to the surface flow bypass (ideally, acceleration <1 m/s per meter) should be created; (3) water velocities at an entrance should be high enough (>3 m/s) to entrain the subject juvenile fishes; (4) the shape and orientation of the surface entrance(s) should be adapted to fit site-specific features; and (5) construction of a forebay wall to increase fish availability to the surface flow bypass should be considered. The efficiency of the SBC was not high enough (maximum of 62% relative to passage at turbine units 4-5) for the SBC to operate as a stand-alone bypass. Anywhere that surface-oriented anadromous fish must negotiate hydroelectric dams, surface flow bypass systems can provide cost-effective use of typically limited water supplies to increase the nonturbine passage, and presumably survival, of downstream migrants. ??Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.
Additional publication details
Evaluation of a prototype surface flow bypass for juvenile salmon and steelhead at the powerhouse of Lower Granite Dam, Snake River, Washington, 1996-2000