Eldbäcken is a bypass channel located next to Eldforsen's power plant in River Västerdalälven in Sweden. Construction of a new power plant with a new dam at Eldforsen's power plant was completed in 2011. Legally Fortum had no need to release water in the old river bed, but after discussions with the local residents, sport fishermen and the municipality, Fortum decided voluntarily that the old river bed would be supplied with water and a bypass channel in the form of a bio channel would be created.
A bio channel is a more diverse version of a nature-like bypass channel with the idea that various animal and plant species, not only fish, can establish themselves in the channel. In traditional bypass channels the main purpose is usually to enable fish migration. The project of Eldbäcken includes the construction of the bio channel, design of suitable habitats, and research studies on the establishment of different animal and plant species in the channel.
The bio channel has a head of 5 m and a length of 500 m. To make the flow as natural as possible, the intake of the bio channel is constructed to allow a variable flow regime. The channel is constructed with different environments, such as pools with low water velocity, islands and flood plains.
Eldbäcken is unique in Sweden and will employ researchers from various universities for years. These studies contribute to various fields such as benthos, beach vegetation, large mussels, reptiles, fish, hydrology and flood fields.