We conduct original scientific research to create FishSafe hydraulic designs.

What FishSafe Means

A FishSafe hydro turbine or plant causes negligible injury or mortality to all resident and migratory fish species at all life stages, as compared to natural hazards encountered during a fish’s life cycle.

Featured studies

Sterling and Miguel inspect fish during a turbine test at Natel headquarters

Fish survival is a design constraint alongside efficient power production in our turbine and plant design.

Why conduct real world fish passage testing?

We conduct turbine passage testing with a variety of fish species and life stages under different operating conditions to understand the physical limits of safe turbine passage for all applications. Working with live fish and monitoring their response to turbine passage is a key part of Natel's FishSafe turbine development process.

After extensive computer modeling and computational fluid dynamics testing, the use of fish in scientific research remains an important step in the design of the most FishSafe high-performance turbines in the world.

The humane treatment of all fish used for hydropower turbine testing is vital, both ethically and scientifically. Our team collaborates with biologists, ecologists, and fish passage engineers around the world to design experiments and disseminate the findings in scientific literature. Our researchers are strong advocates of animal welfare and view their work with fish as a privilege. We take our responsibility for the ethical treatment of fish in our research very seriously and abide by all rules and regulations dictated by the American Fisheries Society’s Guideline for Use of Fishes in Research. Furthermore, we ensure compliance with the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and their Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care on Use of Laboratory Animals.

Miles enjoying fish testing.
Simone and Sterling inspecting fish
Willa laughing near fish injector
Miguel and Sterling fish nets