Concurrent Sessions C: Integrating Recreation and River Safety with Fish Passage - Eco-Hydraulic Evaluation of Whitewater Parks as Fish Passage Barriers

Publication Year:
Usage 280
Downloads 154
Abstract Views 126
Repository URL:
Fox, Brian; Bledsoe, Brian; Myrick, Christopher; Kondratieff, Matthew
artifact description
Whitewater parks (WWPs) have become a popular recreational amenity in cities across the United States with Colorado being the epicenter of WWP design and construction. Whitewater parks consist of one or more instream structures that create a hydraulic wave for recreational purposes. A wave is typically created by constricting flow into a steep chute creating a hydraulic jump as it flows into a large downstream pool. Concerns have been raised that high velocities resulting from the constricted flow at these structures may be inhibiting movement of certain fish species at different times of year. Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Colorado State University recently completed a field evaluation of the effects of WWPs on upstream fish passage by concurrently monitoring fish movement and hydraulic conditions at 3 WWP structures and 3 adjacent natural control reaches. Fish movement was evaluated using a network of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) antennas installed at the study sites for a period of 14 months. Approximately 2,500 individual fish including brown trout (Salmo trutta), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), longnose sucker (Catostomus catostomus) and longnosedace (Rhinichthys cataractae) were tagged and released within the vicinity of the project. Detailed hydraulic conditions occurring during the study period were evaluated by developing a fully 3-D hydraulic model using FLOW-3D®. Results show that this WWP is not a complete barrier to upstream movement, but differences in treatment and control counts may indicate a partial barrier. Differences in passage efficiencies between the control sites and the WWP ranged between 0 -30% based on 359-494 individuals observed at each sampling location. Maximum water velocities observed in the chutes of WWP structures exceeded 3 m/s in some instances, while those within the control reach were typically below 1 m/s. An analysis that incorporates the effects of species, body length and the modeled hydraulic conditions at each of the sites to assess the overall effect of WWP on upstream movement probability will be presented.