Rainbow trout, 2020

Study Overview
Scientific partner:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Rainbow trout
Fish length:
200-400 mm (8-16 in)
RHT runner:
1.9 m (6 ft) diameter
5 m (16 ft)
Rotational speed:
130 rpm, 12.9 m/s
Turbine-passed fish:
Control fish:
100% immediate and 48h survival of turbine-passed fish

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are an important representative salmonid and are one of the most studied species with respect to the effects of hydropower and dams. The sea-run migratory variety, known as steelhead, is a critical species affected by hydropower development on the Pacific coast.

Rainbow trout have been an important species in the development of Natel's approach for FishSafe turbine design, too. We conducted our first fish passage tests in collaboration with Alden Laboratory, to examine the effect of blade strikes on rainbow trout ("Improving Survival: Injury and Mortality of Fish Struck by Blades with Slanted, Blunt Leading Edges"). We have continued to work with the species through a series of turbine passage studies involving different-sized trout and turbines, and different turbine speeds, both in our laboratory in Alameda, CA, and in our field installation in Culver, OR.

The following video details a study conducted in the field at the Monroe Hydro Plant in Madras, OR, in collaboration with PNNL.