River Klarälven in Sweden is a regulated watercourse with many dams that impede the migration of fish, both upstream and downstream. Yet salmon and trout populations have sustained in River Klarälven, and they are an important source of income for fishing and tourism.
Fortum and Karlstad University have worked together in River Klarälven in a project called "Salmon and trout in Klarälven", after which the parties decided to continue the research collaboration. In the new cooperation, the emphasis is on improving the downstream migration of the fish, which previously has been left aside, not only in Klarälven but in many rivers around the world.
Research project gives more information on the migration of salmonids. Research is directed mainly on improving the survival of young salmon (smolts) and kelt (salmon that has spawned and returns to the lake or sea) on the way from the spawning and breeding areas down to Lake Vänern. The project consists of four studies: 1) Designing of the action(s) to improve the downstream migration, 2) Measurement of hydraulic conditions upstream from Edsforsen's power plant to illustrate the current conditions of fish movements and potential measures, 3) Identification of the behavior of the downstream migrating kelt fish and of the choices as they approach Edsforsen and 4) Study on the behavior of the smolts in front of different types of hydraulic conditions (e.g. various forms of acceleration and turbulence in a controlled environment).
The project is funded primarily through funds from Fortum's R&D and from the sales of Bra Miljöval-labeled electricity, and Karlstad University participates with some financing.