During the four-month operating period, the Fishheart fishway carried more than 13,300 fish over the Leppikoski hydropower plant located in Paltamo. The hydraulic Fishheart fishway was lowered into the water downstream of the power plant at the beginning of June. At the end of its operating period in mid-October, it was raised out of the water.
“This was the first year the Fishheart fishway was in use for the entire upstream migration season. The good results indicate that the upstream migration solution is a good fit for the Leppikoski hydropower plant,” says Environment Specialist Elisa Puuronen from Fortum.
Among the fish that have bypassed the power plant are whitefish, perch, vendace, pike perch, bream and roach. A total of 22 of the fish bypassing the power plant were endangered lake trout.
The Fishheart is planned to be in use again in 2023. There is also a plan during the next operating season at Leppikoski to conduct a study on the size of the lake trout population that is migrating upstream towards the power plant and the effectiveness of the Fishheart. Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) will be responsible for the study.
“The study will give us information about the state of the lake trout population downstream of the Leppikoski hydropower plant. It will help us assess the support measures needed to strengthen the trout population and possibly also to further develop the Fishheart operations,” Puuronen says.
Aiming to strengthen the natural life cycle of lake trout
The Fishheart fishway at the Leppikoski hydropower plant is part of a set of measures being implemented to strengthen the natural life cycle of endangered Oulujärvi lake trout. The top targets of the Oulujoki river system fish passage strategy are located on the Hyrynsalmi route.
The measures include e.g. the restoration of habitats and breeding grounds important for the life cycle of the lake trout population, the stocking of juvenile lake trout and the bypass solution planned for the Seitenoikea hydropower plant located upstream of the Leppikoski power plant.