Villemonte’s approach: a general method for modeling uniform and non-uniform performance in stepped fishways

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Fuentes-Pérez JF, García-Vega A, Sanz-Ronda FJ, Martínez de Azagra Paredes A. (2017) - Villemonte’s approach: a general method for modeling uniform and non-uniform performance in stepped fishways - Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems

Stepped fishways are the most popular solutions to enable the free movement of fish fauna through weirs and dams. Given the flow variation of rivers throughout the year, successful fish migration through stepped fishways relies on the accurate discharge calculation and their modeling under variable scenarios. This study aims to propose a general method for flow and water level calculation of stepped fishways, unifying different findings in specialized literature. To achieve this purpose, the relation defined by Villemonte is used and tested under laboratory and field case studies. This study shows that the hydraulic behavior of a wide range of stepped fishway typologies can be explained based on a single equation, as well as the need of calibration of the coefficients involved in this equation for different subtypes. Furthermore, the proposed method enables the water level modeling under variable boundary conditions, which in turns allows the analysis of stepped fishways hydraulic performance under different river scenarios. The comparison of the hydraulic parameters in the fishways with the physical capacities and preferences of fish will contribute to the fulfillment of their main objective: allow free movement of fish fauna.

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