Project Name: Menominee River Fish Passage
Summary: Feasibility studies at five dams on Menominee River to restore passage for lake sturgeon
Client: URS Corporation
Project Location: Menominee River in Wisconsin and Michigan
Project Size: Five dams along Menominee River
• Agency Consultations
• Biological Assessments
• Fish Survival Modeling
• Fish Passage Feasibility Studies
• Fish Passage Conceptual Designs
Project Timeframe: 2011 to Present
Relationship with Client: Since 2002
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required an investigation of the options for providing fish passage at five hydroelectric projects on the Menominee River focusing on lake sturgeon which has been under steady population decline in Lake Michigan.
In collaboration with URS and Baird Associates, Kleinschmidt conducted fish passage feasibility studies at five dams on the Menominee River in the Lake Michigan watershed. To determine the preferred alternatives for upstream fish passage and downstream fish passage at each dam, Kleinschmidt started by screening all potential fish passage alternatives and identifying which alternatives may be feasible for each individual site. After the initial screening Kleinschmidt performed a more thorough evaluation of a reduced set of fish passage alternatives including, nature-like fishways, fish elevators, vertical slot fishways, intake exclusion screens, louver structures, angled bar racks, exclusion nets, induced flow devices, surface bypasses, submerged bypasses, bypass pipes, bypass flumes, and truck and transport methods. Each site provided unique challenges that were evaluated by Kleinschmidt’s team of engineers and fishery biologists. As part of the feasibility study, Kleinschmidt designers developed conceptual drawings for ten alternatives and after stakeholder consultation produced preliminary level engineering drawings for the preferred alternative at each site. Kleinschmidt engineers conducted structural analysis, performed hydraulic calculations, evaluated civil design options, organized operations and maintenance plans, and produced detailed opinions of probable construction cost for each of the preferred alternatives. Kleinschmidt’s fisheries biologists developed a habitat benefits assessment which included habitat quality and passage efficiency indices. The upstream habitat area took into account staging and spawning habitat utilized by adults while they migrate upstream, while downstream habitat units included the quantity of juvenile habitat as they out-migrate to Green Bay. In addition, estimates of juvenile recruitment, a resource inventory, and a mitigation analysis were developed. Kleinschmidt used a number of mathematical modeling applications including a forward projecting lake sturgeon survival model and an estimation of passage efficiency.
Kleinschmidt’s efforts are providing the guidance necessary to choose the appropriate measures to pass lake sturgeon in the watershed. Upon completion, the restoration will result in the reconnection of over 80 miles of spawning and rearing habitat in the Lake Michigan watershed while minimizing the impact on hydropower generation.