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Fact Sheet 2012–3073

Development of Computational Fluid Dynamics—Habitat Suitability (CFD–HSI) Models to Identify Potential Passage—Challenge Zones for Migratory Fishes in the Penobscot River

By Alexander J. Haro,1 Robert W. Dudley,2 and Michael Chelminski3

1 S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Laboratory
2 USGS Maine Water Science Center
3 Stantec, Inc.

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (653 KB)Summary

A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) model was developed to identify potential zones of shallow depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five anadromous fish species in the Penobscot River, Maine, upstream from two existing dams and as a result of the proposed future removal of the dams. Potential depth-challenge zones were predicted for larger species at the lowest flow modeled in the dam-removal scenario. Increasing flows under both scenarios increased the number and size of potential velocity-challenge zones, especially for smaller species. This application of the two-dimensional CFD–HSI model demonstrated its capabilities to estimate the potential effects of flow and hydraulic alteration on the passage of migratory fish.

First posted June 19, 2012

For additional information contact:
Leetown Science Center
11649 Leetown Road
Kearneysville, WV 25430
(304) 724-4400

U.S. Geological Survey
Maine Water Science Center
196 Whitten Road
Augusta, ME 04330
(207) 622-8201

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Suggested citation:

Haro, A.J., Dudley, R.W.,  and Chelminski, M., 2012, Development of computational fluid dynamics—habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) models to identify potential passage—Challenge zones for migratory fishes in the Penobscot River: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3073, 2 p., available at

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