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FGS BAFF System has High Profile at American Fisheries Society’s Annual Conference

FGS BAFF System has High Profile at American Fisheries Society’s Annual Conference

The American Fisheries Society’s 145th Annual Conference held in Portland, Oregon last month featured an interesting group of scientific papers evaluating California Department of Water Resources (CDWR) downstream non-physical fish barrier trials in California’s Central Valley (Head of Old River) and Sacramento River (Georgiana Slough). The main subject concerned FGS’s patented BioAcoustic Fish Fence (BAFF™), also fitted with FGS High Intensity Lights, which, of various technologies tested was the most successful at diverting juvenile seaward-migrating Chinook salmon smolts away from the dangers of irrigation canals.

The papers were presented as part of a two-day symposium on Fish Deterrence and Guidance. Sam Johnston of Hydroacoustic Technology Inc (HTI) set the scene with a technical description of the advanced real-time fish tracking methods used to monitor the individual passage routes of several thousand tagged smolts as they passed the fish barrier. Dr Mark Bowen (ESA Consultants, Sacremento) presented a rigorous statistical analysis of guidance and deterrence efficiency, proving the performance of the FGS BAFF multi-stimulus system. Jason Romine (US Geological Survey) presented results for a Floating Fish Guidance Structure (FFGS) tested at Georgiana Slough; the FFGS was less effective than the BAFF, but did show a beneficial effect at some intermediate flows and could possibly be used in combination with the BAFF to further enhance smolt deflection.

Another paper of interest was given by Dr Andy Turnpenny (Turnpenny Horsfield Associates, UK), which reviewed the recent advances in lighting technology and their application for guidance of American and European eels. This paper was primarily aimed at developing large-scale systems for guiding seaward-migrating silver eels to safety on the St Lawrence River, Canada, but equally has application to smaller rivers. The development of LED-based light systems has opened up new horizons in this field, allowing large systems to operate cost-effectively. The introduction of ‘Smart-lighting’ concepts, where characteristics of the light can be continuously varied according to environmental conditions or season is one of the most exciting developments yet in this field.

For further details on FGS’s BAFF or LED based light systems please contact Dr David Lambert, FGS’s Managing Director.