Coles Creek Habitat Improvement

Project Name: Coles Creek Habitat Improvement through Water Level Control and Fish Passage

Location: Coles Creek Massena, NY

Client: New York Power Authority

Services: Structural Engineering

Project Summary: 

Kleinschmidt designed a water control structure for Coles Creek in Massena, New York in support of compliance efforts for a FERC-licensed hydroelectric project on the St. Lawrence River in northern New York.

Coles Creek flows into Lake St. Lawrence after passing beneath a causeway through a pair of culverts. Kleinschmidt designed a stop-log structure at the downstream end of the culverts that helps spawning and post-spawning adult fish (particularly northern pike) move between the lake and the creek. The structure also allows juvenile fish to leave Coles Creek and enter Lake St. Lawrence.

This fish passage mechanism works by effectively lowering a portion of the weir, via a gated notch, during times when water levels are below the top of the existing weir. In operation, the notch is opened during periods when the target species is expected to move past the weir. Conversely the notch is closed at times to exclude non-target species, such as carp, from the pond when they are expected to be migrating upstream.