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Conowingo Fish Collection Facilities

Case Studies

Client: Constellation

Project Highlights: Maintaining environmental compliance requirements by operating, monitoring, and maintaining upstream fish passage facilities

Services Provided:

  • Operation, monitoring, and maintenance of upstream fish passage facilities
  • Trapping and hauling of juvenile American Eels and adult alosines to upstream stocking locations
  • Daily and weekly collection of biological and operational data to provide continuous information to stakeholders

Constellation owns and operates the Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility (Muddy Run; FERC No. 2355) and Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station (Conowingo; FERC No. 405) along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Both projects are licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The FERC operating licenses of these two projects have required Constellation to operate up to four upstream fish passage facilities: the East Fish Lift, the West Fish Lift, the West Eel Collection Facility, and the Octoraro Creek Eel Facility. Normandeau has been responsible for the operation, monitoring, and data collection at all four facilities since the inception of each (e.g., as early as 1972 for the West Fish Lift) and has adapted the operations of each facility over time to satisfy the goals of the stakeholders involved in these projects.

The East and West Fish Lifts are designed to trap upstream migrating adult alosines (American Shad, Blueback Herring, and Alewife), and current operations require trapping and hauling of these fish to upstream stocking locations above the major hydroelectric projects on the lower Susquehanna River to provide access to spawning habitat for these fish. Normandeau has continued to safely perform these operations to allow Constellation to maintain compliance with their FERC license requirements.

The West Eel Collection Facility and Octoraro Creek Eel Facility have been operated, monitored, and maintained by Normandeau for Constellation since 2015. Both facilities currently consist of permanent eel ramps that are used to trap upstream migrating juvenile American Eels. Normandeau has been tasked with transporting collected eels to upstream stocking locations throughout the watershed (as far as 180 road miles one way) to provide juvenile eels access to rearing habitat that would otherwise be inaccessible. To date, Normandeau has trapped and transported nearly 1.7 million juvenile eels upriver in the Susquehanna basin. Normandeau has provided consultation services to Constellation on design aspects for both facilities.

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