Fish “Ladders” and Other Creative/Technical Innovations Keep CSP On the Leading-Edge of Water/Soil Management Solutions

Transportation: Better – Faster – Safer was this year’s theme at the recent TAC-ACT Conference & Exhibition, in Winnipeg. As part of the “Lion’s Den” segment’s triumphant return at the conference’s Opening Plenary Session, CSPI Executive Director, Dave Penny, was one of four “innovator” presenters, vying to convince a panel of soil/water industry experts to award a hypothetical $100 thousand budget to fund their proposed new – and real – technical innovation. Following these interactive presentations, viewers used an electronic audience response system to vote for each presentation.

Penny’s segment addressed a variety of creative innovations and new CSP products, coatings and other options that help to minimize the environmental impact of culverts and other water/soil, while addressing and enhancing the protection and stewardship of our precious fish and wildlife resources.

He began his presentation with a real-life example – a pair of large diameter (2400 mm) elevated culverts near Cape Spear Newfoundland at Maddox Cove, from which water tumbles out and splashes on rocks below like a mini-waterfall of sorts. Unfortunately, this installation blocks the passage of the fish, including Arctic Char and Sea Trout, which once passed by annually during their upstream migration.

As there are many similar installations from coast to coast, they pose a major problem in Canada. In addition to the intrinsic properties of CSP’s corrugations, which slow the speed of water flowing through it, facilitating easier passage for fish, CSPI and its members are working diligently to develop many new product enhancements and options to minimize the obstacles faced by migrating fish and other wildlife. One such concept is a “fish ladder,” currently being developed at the University of Sherbrooke, under the auspices of the CSPI.

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