Fish passage and abundance around grade control structures on incised streams

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DOI: 10.1061/41036(342)312



This paper summarizes research from separate studies of fish passage over weirs (Larson et al., 2004; Litvan, 2006; Litvan, et al., 2008a-c) and weir hydraulics (Papanicolaou and Dermisis, 2006; Papanicolaou and Dermisis, in press). Channel incision in the deep loess region of western Iowa has caused decreased biodiversity because streams have high sediment loads, altered flow regimes, lost habitat, and lost lateral connectivity with their former floodplains. In-stream grade control structures (GCS) are built to prevent further erosion, protect infrastructure, and reduce sediment loads. However, GCS can have a detrimental impact on fisheries abundance and migration, biodiversity, and longitudinal connectivity. Fish mark-recapture studies were performed on stretches of streams with and without GCS. GCS with vertical or 1:4 (rise/run) downstream slopes did not allow fish migration, but GCS with slopes ??? 1:15 did. GCS sites were characterized by greater proportions of pool habitat, maximum depths, fish biomass, slightly higher index of biotic integrity (IBI) scores, and greater macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity than non-GCS sites. After modification of three GCS, IBI scores increased and fish species exhibiting truncated distributions before were found throughout the study area. Another study examined the hydraulic performance of GCS to facilitate unimpeded fish passage by determining the mean and turbulent flow characteristics in the vicinity of the GCS via detailed, non-intrusive field tests. Mean flow depth (Y) and velocity (V) atop the GCS were critical for evaluating GCS performance. Turbulent flow measurements illustrated that certain GCS designs cause sudden constrictions which form eddies large enough to disorient fish. GCS with slopes ??? 1:15 best met the minimum requirements to allow catfish passage of a flow depth of ??? 0.31 m and a mean flow velocity of ??? 1.22 m/s. ?? 2009 ASCE.

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Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Fish passage and abundance around grade control structures on incised streams
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Conference Title:
World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers
Conference Location:
Kansas City, MO
Conference Date:
17 May 2009 through 21 May 2009