Switzerland – a land of nature-like bypass channels

/ Categories: , Hydropower

Rheinfelden is one of Switzerland’s many nature-like bypass channels. Located on the River Rhine, it is the largest fish pass facility of its type in Central Europe. It stands out with its three fish ways, a vertical slot pass, bypassing river course and a rock cascade pass.

The environmental aspects have been taken into consideration by providing constant discharge of 10 m3/s to the bypassing river course as an environmental flow. Additional discharge up to 25 m3/s can be provided via the regulated gates, in order to provide a dynamic flow regime. Discharge of 10 m3/s is also provided to the main channel as a landscape flow – purely for landscape reasons.

Even though this bypass channel has been in operation for only a short period of time, its environmental benefits are already evident. It has been estimated that the amount of fish in the by-pass channel is up to 30 000, many times more than most bypass channels.

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