Following fish again getting into the base of the newly commissioned Archimedes screw earlier in the year, Durham County Council, the turbine operator instructed a company called Fish Guidance System to install a fish scarer in the form of an acoustic screen and strobe light system at the base of the screw.
However after a lift of water at the beginning of June, Durham County Council, the operator and Fish Guidance System (the installer) concluded that the acoustic screen was not effective. It was decided that a better option would be to abandon the acoustic system and use the space freed to install more flashing lights.
This work has now been completed and there is 7500 lumen (a 100W light bulb produces approximately 1600 lumen) of light power on both sides of the outlet.
Due to low water levels throughout the summer period it has not been possible to measure the effectiveness of the revised system. Durham County Council however have reinstated that they would rather shut the turbine down during critical periods than install any form of protective mesh screen as such screens are costly to clean and if installed at the inlet side of the turbine will reduce the head pressure entering the turbine.
Interested parties, anglers, council officials and the Environment Agency are monitoring the situation closely.
Fish, migratory or otherwise cannot continue to be damaged in this way!!!!