Science is inherently a collaborative and cumulative process, moving forward over time through the continued accumulation of knowledge. This applies as much to fisheries science and engineering as it does to any other discipline. At Fishtek, we are therefore take great care in keeping abreast of developments and research in the field of fish passage and fish pass design.
A part of this is ensuring that we keep up to speed with publications in academic journals, as well as updates and changes in fish pass design. The latter involves occasional visits to facilities where a particularly good example of a fish pass has been built, in order to learn from such facilities. In the past, this has involved visits to fish pass facilities in Europe, including the Geesthacht fish pass.
Most recently, Toby Coe (Fishtek’s technical director) took part in a visit to the fish lock at St. Stephen, on the Santee River system in South Carolina, USA. This facility, which was built in 1985, allows the continued upstream migration of native fish, including American shad, blueback herring, striped bass and sturgeon.
This fish lock is an excellent example of such a facility and passes over 500,000 fish in some years. No small feat in itself, but even more impressive when considering that the operational season is only a few weeks. We met some of the very helpful Department of Natural Resources staff who run the facility and learnt a great deal during our visit that we can apply to designs elsewhere in the world.