Anthropogenic activities and their influences on aquatic systems is an important topic, especially considering the growing interest in using the earth's resources in a sustainable way. One of those anthropogenic activities is the introduction of renewable technologies into the aquatic environment such as instream turbines. Environmental studies around those technologies are often still ongoing due to their novelty. During the spring of 2018, juvenile individuals of two salmonid species, Atlantic salmon and brown trout were released upstream a vertical axis instream turbine in the river Dal (Dalälven) in eastern Sweden. The aim of this study was to investigate the swimming behavior of the salmonids around a small-scale prototype vertical axis instream turbine. The swimming pattern and the possible response of avoiding the vertical axis instream turbine were documented with a multi beam sonar. A control area, next to the turbine, was used as reference. No consistent results were shown for trout as they were passing the control area with a statistically high variation, and specimens were rarely observed in proximity of the turbine, neither if the turbine was operating nor at stand still. Salmon clearly avoided the operating turbine, but did not avoid the turbine when it was at stand still, and was often observed swimming straight through the turbine area. These findings indicate that operating this type of instream turbine in a river affects the swimming behavior of Atlantic salmon but is unlikely to affect its migration paths. For brown trout, the statistical results are inconclusive, although data indicate a response of avoiding the turbine. The species are in little risk to suffer physical harm as no fish entered the rotating turbine, despite very turbid water conditions.