Saturday, July 9, 2016

Artificial Fish Habitat in Industrialized River Segment

Where natural fish habitat has been lost in an industrialized portion of a river, like River Rouge in Detroit or the Maumee in Toledo, some remarkable innovations now enable fish to shelter and feed while moving between natural habitat upriver and downstream.

One of new designs - artificial fish habitat

Four prototypes that attract fish in various stages of development are being tested. The devices are durable, cost efficient and function within changing water levels. One person can manage them. Nearly 500 devices have been installed thus far. Initial trials have been positive.

Two organizations, Cuyahoga River Restoration and Environmental Design Group, are behind the project.

Jane Goodman, Executive Director of Cuyahoga River Restoration said, "The designs are meant to collect floating organic debris to provide shade, food, and refuge from predators for small fish, but can also mimic natural habitat features like root filaments and aquatic plants to provide safe haven in a challenging environment.”

" ‘Adding to the normal designer angst of correct calculations, appropriate safety factors and the expectation this unusual concept would work, we were asked to design something totally unique that had no close model for success or failure,’ mentioned Matt Montecalvo, Principal of Environmental Services at Environmental Design Group.”

(The “watch the video” link shows 21 seconds of little fish within one of the devices.)

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