Fisheries and Hydropower
There is currently a great deal of interest in hydropower in Nepal, as the country has a large number of rivers, many of which are steep and large. These rivers are, however, host to many species of fish some of which are endemic and the development of hydropower potentially represents a threat to these populations of fish.
The Lower Likhu Hydropower Project is a 28 MW run-of-river project on the Likhu River in Eastern Nepal. The project consists of the construction of a dam, where water is abstracted into a pipe (bypassing approximately 6 km of river) that takes the water to the hydro-turbines.
Fishtek Consulting were contracted by one of the project funders to provide an independent review of the hydropower scheme and the potential impact on fish within the Likhu River, including the following areas:
- Impact of the scheme on upstream migration, from elements such as the dam, tailrace and depleted reach
- Impact of the scheme on downstream migration
- Potential habitat loss in the depleted reach as a result of the scheme
- Design of the fish pass at the dam, including the production of outline design drawings
Overall the aim of the review and advice provided was to make the scheme compatible with international guidance such as the IFC Performance Standard 6 and ensure that the scheme has no overall negative impact on fish populations within the river.