Evaluation of a fish screen at the pump and hydropower station in the Albertkanal (Hassel, Belgium)

Project Details


In order to maintain shipping on the Albertkanaal during dry periods, De Vlaamse Waterweg started building pump installations at all lock complexes in the canal a few years ago. When there is sufficient water supply in the Maas, the installations can also run in reverse as hydropower plants and generate electricity. An evaluation of the first installation at the Ham locks showed that these power plants cause a lot of damage to the fish stock, including to the downstream migrating silver eel, especially in hydropower mode. Therefore, De Vlaamse Waterweg has had a fish protection system with LED strobe lights installed at the entrance to the hydropower supply channel at the newest installation in Hasselt.

Through this study, we will investigate how efficient the fish barrier is in keeping fish out of the supply canal during turbine operation, with a focus on silver eel migration. We are investigating this by monitoring the natural migration.
We are also investigating whether fish can escape from the supply channel during pump operation and which route they use at the fish screen: through the lamps or through escape tubes. We are investigating this by carrying out a release test with fish fry.
Effective start/end date1/05/2231/12/24

Free keywords

  • hydropower
  • fish

Thematic List 2020

  • Water