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Alliant Energy is in the process of installing a fish passage at its Prairie du Sac Hydro that is located on the Wisconsin River just north of Prairie du Sac, Wis. The installation is required as part of our Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) operating license for the facility and it must be operational in 2015. We are working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on the project. The WDNR and USFWS must approve the final design before construction begins. The WDNR will be responsible for operating the fish passage and manual fish sorting once it is completed. The fish passage will allow fish to go back and forth between the Wisconsin River and Lake Wisconsin.
The general timeline for the fish passage project is as follows:
Pictured below left is a view from the general location where the fish passage will be built. Below right is a conceptual drawing of what the fish passage will look like (note that the design is not final or approved). The passage will be located between the powerhouse and the spillway parts of the dam. Two fish approach channels will eventually cross where the island below the dam is seen in the photo at below left. The approach channels will lead fish into a water tank within a sorting room that has access to the fish elevator.
Pictured below is a conceptual drawing of the sorting room (note that the design is not final or approved). A formal protocol for working within the sorting room and for sorting the fish will be established by the WDNR. WDNR biologists will physically sort all fish on sorting tables (see below right) prior to either passing them into Lake Wisconsin or putting them back into the Wisconsin River. The WDNR will be allowed 24/7 access to the Prairie du Sac Hydro sorting room and will determine when the fish passage will be operated.