Site C Dam Fish Passage Trap and Haul Facility

Alternatives analysis/feasibility study, Conceptual design, Engineering services, Final design, Construction management, Engineering during construction, Testing & commissioning
Professional services
Peace River, British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia Hydro & Power (BC Hydro)
why it matters

Safe and passable fishways for the Peace River Bull Trout was at the forefront of our approach to design two upstream fish passage facilities to accommodate the construction of a 200-foot-tall dam on the Peace River in northeast British Columbia, Canada. Our fish passage solutions will guide the Bull Trout and other native fish species to continue their migration upstream and fulfill portions of their lifecycles in the river and its tributaries.

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McMillen designed two facilities—a temporary upstream “trap-and-haul” facility that operates during the dam construction to provide interim upstream fish passage and gain insight to improve the design of a permanent fishway trap-and-haul facility and a permanent fishway that provides upstream fish passage at the outlet of the generating station, following closure of the diversion tunnels and reservoir filling.

McMillen completed the design for the temporary facility to provide upstream passage while the new dam was being built. It has been in operation since 2020 and has successfully passed small-bodied fish such as Shiner, Graying, Sculpin, and several large-bodied fish. The fish population in the river was similar to that of the fishway, indicating that the fishway is sized for target and resident fish alike. The operation of the temporary facility has provided some lessons learned, which have been implemented in the design of the permanent facility to increase its adaptability to changing environments.

The design of the permanent upstream fish collection facility has been completed and will provide safe and efficient fish transport from the tailrace to the upstream release locations after the diversion phase. Construction of the permanent facility is reaching completion, with operation expected to start in the spring of 2024.

McMillen’s team completed the following tasks:

• Alternatives analysis with considerations for potential fish passage risks, technical feasibility, biological

benefits, and capital and operating costs

• Conceptual design analysis and report

• Construction cost estimates and schedule

• Constructability reviews

• Design reports including the Conceptual (CDR), Definition (DDR), and Implementation Design Report (IDR)

• Full drawings and specifications for construction of both facilities

• Project management tasks such as regular coordination meetings, document control, and day-to-day

management of work execution, including preparation of an initial work plan

• Technical advice on procurement for construction

• Biological monitoring plan

• Hydrologic and hydraulic analysis with computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling to determine the

facility’s attraction flow and other aspects

• Geotechnical review

• Engineering support during construction

• Owner’s engineer services during construction, commissioning, and initial years of operation on the temporary facility

• Technical support for permitting, discussions with regulators, and consultation with the 13 Indigenous groups in the vicinity

"Thanks to all of you for the hard work in pulling together the BOP Contract. This must be one of the largest, most in-depth contracts BC Hydro has issued in recent years. Balance of Plant/Completions contracts are the most diverse scope we have in our contracts, and over the past two years, the BOP Contract and Design team has been key to specifying, organizing, and scheduling the scope such that a contractor can effectively bid the work. The high degree of collaboration and cooperation on the diverse BOP team has resulted in producing contract documents that are thorough and of high quality. Because of your hard work, we can now look forward to awarding this contract, mobilizing the contractor, and completing the powerhouse build. Thank you for your efforts!”

Darren Kahl

Executive Vice President, BC Hydro

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