May 29, 2011:
The proponent’s proposed solution to permit the species-at-risk fish to pass the weir is to allow them to swim upstream over the weir during the spring freshet. At that time, the flow is typically fierce, and far exceeds a lake sturgeon’s swimming abilities, let alone its jumping abilities, which are non-existent. During the rest of the year, as a result of the negligible residual flows, the fish
will not get within 300 metres of the weir, let alone be able to jump it. Downstream passage of fish is likewise threatened by the turbine, the particular design of which has a history of causing high fish mortality. The proposed design would therefore introduce yet another insurmountable obstacle in the migration path of these Species at Risk.
The precautionary approach would clearly be to place a moratorium on development of all small waterpower sites where SAR fish are known to exist until the science of fishway design is better understood.