2010 – A Bi-Directional Fishlift – An Innovative Solution for Fish Passage

Graeme Maher, Richard Herweynen, Martin Mallen-Cooper and Stuart Marshall

Increasing awareness of the environmental impact of dams means that fish passage is emerging as a critical issue for both existing and new dams in Australia.

The fish passage and outlet works for Wyaralong Dam, a new dam currently under construction, required accommodation of large ranges of head and tailwater levels. The solution that has been adopted, a bidirectional fishlift using a single hopper with trapping for downstream fish movement occurring within the intake tower, is a world first. The solution required the innovative integration of a number of existing technologies to create a system which is necessarily complex, yet reliable and effective.

The paper incorporates discussion of the critical design constraints, the biology of fish passage, the process adopted to reach the concept solution and a description of the final design including its integration with the outlet works. A number of design issues and their solution are discussed in detail, particularly those associated with dealing with the complexity of the design constraints and how the components of the solution were integrated into a seamless design.

The paper will be of use to those involved in the process of providing fish passage on both existing and new structures that obstruct river flow.

A Bi-Directional Fishlift – An Innovative Solution for Fish Passage


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