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Development of Fishway Design Criteria for Floodplain Species of the Lower Mekong Basin

Irrigation development in Lao P.D.R. has led to construction of numerous water regulation devices (over 10,000) which limit migratory fish movement. Movements of fish (and other aquatic animals) between rivers and floodplains is subsequently restricted, or may be entirely prevented, and this has led to severe declines in fish production in many areas. Previous research in Lao P.D.R. has demonstrated that fish-passage technology has the potential to enable movement of migratory fish past these low-level (less than 6 m) barriers. Consequently, fisheries agencies are interested in increasing capacity to design manage and operate fish passage facilities on new and existing low-level water control structures in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of fish resources. Preliminary work identified that vertical slot fishways, on conservative slopes, can provide effective passage for many species and individuals of fish in the Lower Mekong Basin. Over 20,000 fish from over 100 species were found to ascend an experimental fishway facility over a 40 day period. A 1:15 slope hydraulic slope was most successful but there was no single design that provided passage for all species. This suggests that the Lower Mekong Basin has a highly diverse fish community with many different movement strategies.

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Development of Fishway Design Criteria for Floodplain Species of the Lower Mekong Basin

  1. 1. Development of Fishway Design Criteria for floodplain Species of the Lower Mekong Basin Khampheng Homsombath, Lee Baumgartner, Jarrod McPherson, Tim Marsden, Garry Thorncraft, Oudom Phonekhampeng; Douangkham Singhanouvong; Ubolratana Suntornratana AFS Portland, 2015
  2. 2. The Mekong Catchment
  3. 3. Many different landscapes: China Yunnan
  4. 4. Many different landscapes: Northern Laos Luangprabang, Laos
  5. 5. Many different landscapes: Central/Southern
  6. 6. Many different landscapes: Cambodia border
  7. 7. Many different landscapes: Delta
  8. 8. Dry Season
  9. 9. Wet Season
  10. 10. Home of charismatic Megafauna!
  11. 11. And many small fish (over 900 species)
  12. 12. LMB – approx 2.2 million tonnes per annum About 2% of total world fish catch, 900 spp Fish Beef Pork Chicken kg/person/year kg/person/year kg/person/year kg/person/year Lao PDR 29 (48% animal protein) 5 6 5 Cambodia 37 (79% animal protein) 2 3 2 Social Importance of fish Importance of fish in sustenance diets
  13. 13. Importance of fish
  14. 14. Floodplain species
  15. 15. Floodplain development is increasing at an alarming rate
  16. 16. Fish Migration Concept
  17. 17. Regulator Fish Migration Concept
  18. 18. Fishway Fish Migration Concept
  19. 19. 14 mainstem dams proposed
  20. 20. Four stage project Construct Scope/research Assess
  21. 21. Regulator (Study site)
  22. 22. Research different design aspects Slope, turbulence, slot width etc
  23. 23. Different designs
  24. 24. Different designs
  25. 25. Future need: 1. Improved understanding of local physiology and ecology
  26. 26. Future need: 2. Ensuring developers and managers have the information!
  27. 27. Future need: 3. Putting it all into practice in a coordinated way
  28. 28. Want to know more about the MDFRC? Subscribe to LIMNOSPHERE, the MDFRC enewsletter by visiting Follow @MuDFReaCk on Twitter Acknowledgements: