Screens are commonly installed at water diversion sites to reduce entrainment of fish. Recently, the Farmers Irrigation District in Hood River, Oregon, developed a new flat-plate screen design that offers passive operation and may result in reduced operation and installation costs to irrigators. To evaluate the performance (its biological effect on fish) of this type of screen, two size classes of juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kistuch) were released over a small version of this screen in the field-the Herman Creek screen. The performance of the screen was evaluated over a range of inflow [0.02 to 0.42 m3/s (cubic meters per second)] and diversion flows (0.02 to 0.34 m3/s) at different weir wall heights. The mean approach velocities for the screen ranged from 0 to 5 cm/s (centimeters per second) and mean sweeping velocities ranged from 36 to 178 cm/s. Water depths over the screen surface ranged from 1 to 25 centimeters and were directly related to weir wall height and inflow. Passage of juvenile coho salmon over the screen under a variety of hydraulic conditions did not severely injure them or cause delayed mortality. For all fish, the mean percentage of body surface area that was injured after passage over the screen ranged from about 0.4 to 3.0%. This occurred even though many fish contacted the screen surface during passage. No fish were observed becoming impinged on the screen surface (greater than 1 second contact with the screen). When operated within its design criteria (diversion flows of about 0.28 m3/s), the screen provided safe and effective downstream passage of juvenile salmonids under a variety of hydraulic conditions. However, we do not recommend operating the screen at inflows less than 0.14 m3/s (5 ft3/s) because water depth can get quite shallow and the screen can completely dewater, particularly at very low flows.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Biological Evaluations of an Off-Stream Channel, Horizontal Flat-Plate Fish Screen-The Farmers Screen