Corps of Engineer Employees Develop Debris Removal Device to Ensure Safer Fish Passage at Little Goose Dam

Big Country News

Two US Army Corps of Engineer employees at Little Goose Lock and Dam have created a device that removes debris blockages within the dam. As a result, they have eliminated the need to spend time and labor dewatering a gatewell, prevented higher fish mortality rates and boosted energy production.

Little Goose Lock and Dam has dealt with numerous debris issues in recent years that adversely affected ESA (Endangered Species Act) listed salmon and steelhead along the Snake River.

In 2014, the trash shear boom (a barrier designed to keep debris, such as logs and trash, out of areas where it could create problems) failed and all debris moving downriver accumulated in the immediate forebay, directly upstream of the turbines.

“The high runoff years of 2017 and 2018 were extremely challenging for Little Goose staff, particularly staff at the Juvenile Fish Facility. High flow and increased debris caused numerous issues with fish passage through the juvenile bypass system,” Scott St John, Supervisory Fish Biologist at Little Goose, said.

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