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Leaky barriers: leaky enough for fish to pass?

Muller, Stephanie, Wilson, Catherine ORCID:, Ouro Barba, Pablo ORCID: and Cable, Joanne ORCID: 2021. Leaky barriers: leaky enough for fish to pass? Royal Society Open Science 8 (3) , 201843. 10.1098/rsos.201843

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Perceived as environmental-friendly hydraulic structures, leaky barriers used for natural flood management are introduced into rivers, potentially creating migration barriers for fish. Using sustainable, local materials to construct wooden barriers across river channels in upper catchments, these barriers aim to slow down the flow, reduce flood peaks and attenuate the flow reaching downstream communities. Yet little is known about their impact on hydrodynamics and fish passage. Here, we examined two model barrier designs under 100% and 80% bankfull flow conditions in an open channel flume. These barriers included a porous and a non-porous design, with the latter emulating the natural accumulation of brush, sediment and leaf material between logs over time. Flow visualization and velocity measurements recorded with acoustic Doppler velocimetry characterized the flow field upstream and downstream of the barriers. Our fish behavioural studies revealed that juvenile salmon (Salmo salar) movement between downstream and upstream sections of the flume was inhibited by barrier design rather than discharge, influencing upstream fish passage and their spatial preference, indicating the importance of barrier design criteria to facilitate fish movement.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 2054-5703
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 3 February 2021
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 18:26

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