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Surface bypass as a means of protecting downstream-migrating fish: lack of standardised evaluation criteria complicates evaluation of efficacy

Klopries, Elena-Maria, Deng, Zhiqun Daniel, Lachmann, Theresa U., Schüttrumpf, Holger, Trumbo, Bradly A.
Marine & freshwater research 2018 v.69 no.12 pp. 1882-1893
Salmonidae, eel, guidelines, meta-analysis, potamodromous fish, Australia, Europe, North America
Surface bypasses are downstream migration structures that can help reduce hydropower-induced damage to migrating fish. However, no comprehensive design concept that facilitates good surface bypass performance for a wide range of sites and species is available. This is why fish-passage efficiencies at recently built bypass structures vary widely between 0% and up to 97%. We reviewed 50 surface bypass performance studies and existing guidelines for salmonids, eels and potamodromous species to identify crucial design criteria for surface bypasses employed in North America, Europe and Australia. Two-tailed Pearson correlation of bypass efficiency and bypass design criteria shows that bypass entrance area (r=0.3300, P=0.0036) and proportion of inflow to the bypass (r=0.3741, P=0.0032) are the most influential parameters on bypass efficiency. However, other parameters such as guiding structures (P=0.2181, ordinary Student’s t-test) and trash-rack spacing (r=–0.1483, P=0.3951, Spearman correlation), although not statistically significant, have been shown to have an effect on efficiency in some studies. The use of different performance criteria and efficiency definitions for bypass evaluation hampers direct comparison of studies and, therefore, deduction of design criteria. To enable meta-analyses and improve bypass design considerations, we suggest a list of standardised performance parameters for bypasses that should be considered in future bypass-performance studies.