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Behavioural Guidance of American Eel with LED lights

During their downstream spawning the migration, the American Eel is at high risk of dying due to turbine strikes at hydro stations. This hazard is a major factor impeding the recovery of the species, which is designated as Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Although many strategies have been tested for guiding fish away from such dangers, the search for an effective solution continues. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is funding this research at Carleton University with $61,525 from the Partnership Fund in 2016, to test the effectiveness of using LED lighting for behavioural guidance of adult American Eel. Controlled experiments will test the responses of migratory-phase adult eel to different LED light settings—varying by flash frequency, spectra, and intensity—to identify those with the greatest potential to attract and repel fish. If successful, the goal is to field test the devices in collaboration with industry partners such as Ontario Power Generation and Hydro Quebec.

Project Number: CA2016.18
Year: 2016
Partner: Carleton University
Principal Investigator(s): Steven Cooke
Eco-region: Great Lakes; Gulf and Estuary of the St. Lawrence, Atlantic

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