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Fish passage considerations for developing small hydroelectric sites and improving existing water control structures in Ontario

Unfortunately fish passage is rarely even considered for hydroelectric facilities in Ontario; however, this report may indicate the beginnings of positive change.

Fish passage has long been recognized as an important consideration in managing Canada’s fisheries resources. A decision-making framework developed in British Columbia provides one of the most comprehensive ways to approach fish passage resolution at a proposed project. This process outlines assessments of environmental, financial-technical, and social benefits or the “BC triple bottom line”, in determining the need for fish passage. In addition to such a framework, it is important to note that the decision making process frequently relies not only on enabling legislation and policy, but on technical issues, the interpretation of the latest research results, as well as in-depth expertise on fish passage. Often, in-depth knowledge can make a difference, particularly when data on fish and fish behaviour are lacking.

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