Davis Hydro, LLC
A Davis Collaborative Company


Fisheries Research Projects

Davis Hydro is involved in several fisheries research projects. Some of them are the result of work on the Pit and Feather River and others are derived from general interest. Currently, we have proposals out or are working in several areas:

  • Fish Olfactory Passage Enhancement. The idea is to use fishes olfactory imprinting to help the fish find dam bypass facilities. We are targeting the diversion dam at Red Bluff as an experimental base. No proposal is out on this idea at the present time.
  • Nature Like Fish Bypasses: This is plenary or careful review research of the efficacy of certain types of fish bypass structures. There fish passages tend to be very fish friendly and will also pass macroinvertibrates. There will be a proposal to the DOA to work on this subject. Red Bluff DOI scientists have worked on this design, our work will focus on efficacy of the method in comparison to other fish passage methods.
  • Open Channel Hydropower Turbine: This proposal addresses the need to capture open channel energy in moving water. It protects fish because it does not pressurize the water significantly and is thus fish friendly. This research is underway with a the immediate objective of building a prototype in the summer of 2005. The project is described in the enclosed proposal to going in 2005 to DOE.

Davis Hydro has recently completed a fish passage research project for the CEC to help fish pass from one level to a second. This research addresses fish herding for the purpose of getting fish up past dams, so that fish populations might survive.

The only natural models of fish herding available are of humpback whales and porpoises. The whales surround fish with an air bubble curtains that concentrate the fish into one small area, then the whales surface through the school middle with their mouths open and eat well.

Our research followed this whale design. but improves on it significantly. We have observed in our research with trout, salmon, hitch, and other fish that fish not only shy away from bubble curtains (as in the anchovy from the whale) but in many other cases fish both individuals and schools are attracted to the bubbles for cover, play, and curiosity. We are using all these modes of interaction along with multiple moving air curtains to herd the fish.

Current patent work is underway on using this method to herd or guide fish in a preferred direction using moving air bubble curtains. This work is described in a recent proposal to the CEC (2005) for funding.

Other R& D projects currently under consideration or early development include better fish passage counting hardware development.

A current (October, 2004) focus is on an economical portable fish counting equipment for open bodies of water. Current techniques involve teams of researchers electrofishing sample parts of rivers (see the enclosed pictures at 1, 2, 3, and 4) . We are proposing a new technique that uses genetic fingerprinting of bacteria or other parasitic material uniquely associated with different life stages of different species. We hope to sample moving bodies of water and using the genetic material in the water, and thus perform population studies on populations living upstream of the sampling point. At present, we are putting together a working paper on the technique and soliciting ideas on how to identify appropriate genetic material. .


© 2003, Davis Hydro
A Davis Collaborative Company

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