Niagara Fish Habitat Restoration

Project Name: Niagara Power Project

Summary: Fish habitat improvement designs and monitoring

Client: New York Power Authority

Project Location: Four sites along the Niagara River in Western New York

Services Provided:
•  Aquatic Habitat Assessment
•  Agency Consultation
•  Fish Habitat Structure Design
•  Stakeholder Facilitation
•  FERC Compliance Management
    and Implementation
•  Federal, State and Local Permitting
•  Long-term Monitoring

Project Timeframe:
2003 - Present

Relationship with Client: Since 1994

Client Needs:
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) cooperatively developed and implemented a series of habitat improvement projects to provide fish habitat at four locations along the upper Niagara River in western New York. The purpose of the fish habitat improvement project is to provide large object cover that fish could use for feeding, resting, and hiding as this type of habitat is largely missing from this part of the river.
Kleinschmidt Solution:
When designing the fish habitat structures, Kleinschmidt and NYPA worked cooperatively with agencies and other community stakeholders and considered several factors including: the environmental conditions present; durability or longevity of the structures; potential impacts to boating and/or public safety; and likelihood of success. Kleinschmidt developed four prototype designs consisting primarily of large boulders and logs that would provide fish cover, be long lasting and require minimal maintenance. Kleinschmidt also coordinated with Federal and State resource agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard on potential navigation issues, to obtain needed permits, and prepared bid documents for NYPA. NYPA constructed the four prototype submerged fish habitat improvement structures based on boulder field, rock wing, stone and log groin, and sloping rock and log designs. Following installation, Kleinschmidt developed and implemented a long-term monitoring plan that involves inspection dives to monitor the stability of the structures and their use by fish.
Client Benefits:
Information from these evaluations is being used for the design and installation of future structures that NYPA is supporting through a self-funded grant program.