U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



Published in Hydraulic Engineering: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions: Proceedings of the Hydraulic Engineering sessions at Water Forum ’92. Baltimore, Maryland, August 2–6, 1992. Published by American Society of Civil Engineers.


Tailwater fisheries below hydroprojects are affected by variable flows and water quality in dam releases. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) identified undesirable flow regimes, low dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations, and undesirable temperatures as having the greatest biological impact on tailwater, and steps are being taken to mitigate impacts at numerous dams. To help evaluate mitigation efforts, an interdisciplinary team of water quality modelers, fisheries biologists, and environmental engineers developed a one-dimensional dynamic fish growth model. This model was coupled with previously developed dynamic flow and water quality models. The model results were compared to (1) fish growth data in Norris Dam tailwater under pre- and post-mitigation conditions and (2) rainbow trout growth in aquaria studies with differing DO concentrations. Model was found to reproduce impacts of DO on fish growth.