Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Georgia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Georgia Project

Fish community response to commercial operation of the Richard B Russell pump-storage hydropower facility on the Savannah River, GA-SC

October 2007 - September 2010


Participating Agencies

  • Corps of Engineers

The purpose of this project is to continue the research into the fish community response to full commercial operation of the J. Strom Thurmond and Richard B. Russell hydropower project; this work will be used to evaluate data collected previously on JST and RBR by the Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. The goals for the 5-year effort are two fold. First, evaluate the effects of full commercial pump-back operation of the Russell Project; and second, provide statistically-rigorous, scientifically-sound information on which to base management decisions about the operation of the Russell Project. The proposed study will encompass a variety of hydrological and climatological conditions and several year-classes of blueback herring and threadfin shad. Objectives and Methods: Task One: Evaluate fish community response in JST and RBR reservoirs to commercial operation of the Russell Project. Objective: Monitor trends in fish populations in the Savannah River Arm of Reservoir and the lower third of Richard B. Russell Reservoir. Task 1-A Routine Gill Net Surveys Task 1-B Supplemental Gill Net Surveys Task 1-C Electrofishing Task 1-D Cove Rotenone Task Two: Evaluate response of pelagic fishes to the installment and operation of a dissolved oxygen diffuser system in JST Reservoir. Objective: Determine if pelagic species with high dissolved oxygen requirements use habitat created by the operation of dissolved oxygen diffuser installed in JST Reservoir. Task 2-A Diffuser System Gill Net Surveys