Representatives from government agencies, environmental and sporting groups joined with utility officials at the GPU York Haven hydroelectric plant to dedicate a newly constructed fish passage facility. The passage is located on the southeast shore line of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, US.
The completion of the US$70M fish ladder marks the final milestone in a joint venture to allow American shad to pass through four hydroelectric dams on the lower Susque-hanna river to their spawning grounds.
The 20MW York Haven hydro plant is owned by a GPU hydroelectric subsidiary. The fish passage allows migratory fish species to navigate through an opening in the 3m high dam during their annual upriver spawning run from the Atlantic Ocean. It is the fourth placed into operation as part of an agreement between the governors of Pennsylvania and Maryland, the electric companies including GPU’s York Haven Power Company, PPL Corporation, PECO Energy, Safe Harbor Water Power Corporation, and fisheries agencies. The other fish passage facilities are located downstream at the Holtwood, Safe Harbor and Conowingo dams.
The facilities at the three downstream dams work like elevators, whereas the ladder at York Haven is a series of pools or steps that allow shad, river herring and other migratory species of fish to traverse the dams.