Evaluation of Fish-Injury Mechanisms During Exposure to a High-Velocity Jet

Report

Title: Evaluation of Fish-Injury Mechanisms During Exposure to a High-Velocity Jet
Publication Date:
November 01, 2002
Pages: 41
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Citation

Guensch, G.; Mueller, R.; Dauble, D. (2002). Evaluation of Fish-Injury Mechanisms During Exposure to a High-Velocity Jet. Report by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). pp 41.
Abstract: 

As part of the research supported by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Hydropower Turbine System (AHTS) Program, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) conducted a study where age-0 and age-1 chinook salmon, as well as several other types of fish, were released into a submerged water jet to quantify injuries caused by shear stresses and turbulence (Neitzel et al. 2000). The fish releases were videotaped. These videotape records were digitized and analyzed using new methods to identify the injury mechanisms and the stresses involved. Visible external injuries sustained by fish in this study generally occurred during the initial contact with the jet and not during the tumbling that occurred after the fish fully entered the turbulent flow. The inertial stresses of tumbling, however, may cause temporary or even permanent vestibular and neurological injuries. Such injuries can result in disorientation and loss of equilibrium, which are life threatening in the “natural” environment. Operculum injuries predominated at moderate water jet speeds (12 and 15 m·s-1). At the highest speed, eye, operculum, isthmus, and gill injuries were equally common, and disorientation was most common. Bruising and descaling were relatively rare, especially for age-0 fish. Age-0 fish were less susceptible than the larger age-1 fish to all visible injury types, especially at lower speeds. This is presumably because age-0 fish have less mass and inertia, and therefore sustain smaller forces on exposed organs during acceleration. Alternatively, age-0 fish were substantially more susceptible to behavioral impairments such as disorientation. This may also relate to the smaller mass of the age-0 fish. The less massive age-0 fish sustain larger accelerations and jerks, which may be important sources of the internal injuries to the vestibular and neurological systems. All the dynamic parameters computed from the bulk motion of the fish (velocity, jerk, and force) were positively correlated with injury level, based on the results of this study. Multinomial response model results further suggested that force is most predictive of injury.

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