Bharath Ganesh Babu
Arts and Sciences
Our Great Lakes are under attack by the invasive Asian carp. If they were to establish themselves in the lakes, it would prove detrimental to the ecosystem, the multi-billion dollar fishing industry, and recreational lake use. They become harmful airborne projectiles when disturbed by watercraft and will starve out native species. My focus is on the $200 million barrier system put in place to stop the migration of these fish. Currently, these fish are being stopped by a massive horizontal electrode fish barrier system located in Romeoville, Illinois. My research was spurred by the amount of problems with the maintenance of the system. Using horizontal electrodes makes them susceptible to damage and debris, mostly from barge chains and silt. The current maintenance protocol is to poison the water, shut down the barrier, and send a diver into potentially electrified water. I decided to try to model mounting removable electrodes on the side wall to stop the damage. I hypothesized that this would produce the same gradient and stop the fish. I created a 2 percent scale model of both configurations and tested the gradient using a volt meter. My findings show that vertically mounted electrodes will produce the same fish-stopping gradient, and are easier to maintain, safer, and more economical.
Benninger, Brandon, "Up-Scaled Fish Barrier: Vertically Mounted Electrodes are Economical, Maintainable, Safe" (2014). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 312.