Fish Lift System for Lake Sturgeon wins ACEC Honor Award

The Menominee Fish Lift System for Lake Sturgeon Passage is the first fish lift for lake sturgeon in the United States and the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) recently awarded Kleinschmidt Associates’ Fish Passage Design Team an Honors Award for the project. The award was presented at the ACEC Engineering Excellence Award ceremony in Washington, DC, on April 19, 2016. Last year, Kleinschmidt won the Maine ACEC Grand Conceptor Award for the same project.

The Menominee Fish Lift System was developed to restore access to historical spawning areas for lake sturgeon on the Menominee River, which forms a natural border between Wisconsin and Michigan. The fish lift was built in a working powerhouse by repurposing an unused turbine bay in the Menominee Dam (owned and operated by Eagle Creek Renewable Energy), which is the first barrier that fish encounter on the river. Kleinschmidt’s fish passage engineers and biologists also designed a state-of-the-art sorting facility for biologists onsite to monitor the health of the lake sturgeon population, which has declined by more than 99% since the dams were built.

“This recent award from the ACEC highlights Kleinschmidt’s commitment to providing practical solutions to complex problems that affect our client’s lives,” said Kleinschmidt President/CEO Chuck Padera. “The Menominee Project is another example of how well we collaborate with resource agencies, non-governmental organizations, and energy producers to help move energy projects forward while protecting and enhancing the environment.”

The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards recognizes engineering projects that epitomize quality, innovation, value, and client satisfaction. For more information about this project, please contact Lucas Stiles at 207-416-1293 (email:

Kleinschmidt Associates works primarily with energy companies in North America to protect and enhance the environment without compromising performance. We work at the intersection of regulatory requirements, environmental science, and engineering solutions. For half a century, Kleinschmidt has been bringing new ideas to the table, offering practical solutions to complex problems and sensitive issues. Our goal is to bring energy, water, and the environment into balance.


Shown (left to right): ACEC President David A. Raymond; Eagle Creek Renewable Energy’s Paul Radzikinas; Eagle Creek Renewable Energy Executive Vice President Robert Gates; Kleinschmidt engineer Lucas Stiles, P.E.; Kleinschmidt Vice President Tim Oakes; and ACEC Chairman Ralph W. Christie, Jr.


Shown: lake sturgeon in holding tank