In a previous post (17th February 2019) reference was made to the possible installation of baffles or curtain being installed in the Archimedes screw chamber to prevent migratory fish coming into contact with the turbine blade.
As can be seen in the above photograph the baffles or curtain has now been installed. The black curtain comprises two layers of vertical plastic slats or baffles, a longer front layer and a shorter, 300mm long rear layer. This rear layer is approximately 30mm in front of the blade.
In low water both slats hang vertically down. In higher water the front flap will be swept forward by the water, leaving the shorter rear curtain in position, hanging vertically down. In addition two underwater cameras have been installed to help monitor the behaviour of any fish entering the turbine chamber.
Everyone involved with this issue, and particularly Durham County Council the turbine operator, hopes that this system prevents any further fish being damaged by the turbine blade.
The situation will be monitored throughout this season by everyone concerned about the conservation of migratory fish stocks.
On the brighter side, in March, 69 migratory fish used the ‘Larnier’ fish pass alongside the turbine, so at least something is working well.