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Simulator of Salmon Smolt Attraction to Turbulence

screencapture: simulator salmon smolt attractionIn the Columbia River basin, a major management problem is getting out-migrating salmon smolts to use bypasses instead of passing through the turbines at dams. One concept under consideration* is the possibility that smolts are attracted to turbulence, and that turbulence generators could be used to steer smolts toward bypasses and away from turbine intakes. With funding from the Electric Power Research Institute, we modified the Out-migrant Survival Simulator so that it implements a very simple assumption about how smolts respond to turbulence. The software allows the user to put in simulated turbulence-generators with mouse clicks, making investigation of alternative configurations very easy. The model determines which smolts are bypassed vs. entrained.

The animation below is for an example Columbia River reach, with smolts drifting downstream toward the dam. The strings of yellow dots upstream of the dam are a test configuration of turbulence-generators, leading smolts toward the white bypass part of the dam. Inquiries about this research should be directed to Doug Dixon of EPRI.

*Coutant, C. C. Turbulent attraction flows for juvenile salmon passage at dams. ORNL/TM-13608, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge TN.