The control of the upstream movement of fish with pulsated direct current

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society



Alternating-current electromechanical devices installed in the mouths of streams have proved effective in stopping the spawning migrations of the parasitic sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) which has seriously damaged Great Lakes fisheries. In a few streams, excessive mortality has occurred to other fish at the alternating-current barriers. A direct-current unit was developed in an attempt to reduce this mortality. This direct-current “diversion device” consists of a row of suspended negative electrodes which begins at the end of a trap wing and extends across the river at a downstream angle of 45° and a series of pipes (positive electrodes) driven into the stream bank. A second array, consisting of horizontal pipes installed downstream and parallel to the suspended electrodes and connected to a series of rods driven into the bank near the positive electrodes, controls the electrical field and dissipates the collecting influence of the positive side of the circuit. The electrical field is established from the end of the trap wing to the opposite bank. Fish are diverted away from the negative electrodes and toward the bank near which the trap is located. The array is activiated by pulsated direct current of essentially square wave shape with pulses at a duty cycle of 0.66 and a repetition rate of 3 per second. Direct-current diversion devices were operated in conjunction with alternating-current barriers during 1956 in the Chocolay River, Marquette County, and the Silver River, Baraga County, Michigan.

A total of 15,814 fish comprising 21 species was handled at the Chocolay River with a mortality of 930, or 5.9 percent. If mortalities of fish moving downstream are disregarded, only 287, or 1.9 percent, of the fish moving upstream were killed in the Chocolay River.

In the Silver River, 78,648 fish comprising 21 species were taken from the trap of the direct-current diversion device. The total kill of fish moving upstream, including 289 sea lampreys, was 1,016, or 1.3 percent. This river had presented a serious problem in the operation of an alternating-current control device during previous seasons. In 1955, 85.5 percent of three important species of fish were killed at the control structure. During 1956, this mortality was reduced to 8.1 percent by the operation of the direct-current equipment.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The control of the upstream movement of fish with pulsated direct current
Series title Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
DOI 10.1577/1548-8659(1956)86[269:TCOTUM]2.0.CO;2
Volume 86
Year Published 1957
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 269
Last page 284
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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