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Preliminary study advancing for construction of a fish migration bypass solution at the Seitenoikea hydropower plant

25 August 2023, 15:52 EEST

Fortum has started a preliminary study for the construction of a fish migration bypass at the Seitenoikea hydropower plant, which is located on the Hyrynsalmi route in the River Emäjoki, in the municipality of Ristijärvi. Implementation of the by-pass solution will allow lake trout to migrate to potential spawning areas that are about 40 hectares in size.

”The preliminary study is examining different alternatives for implementing a bypass solution and comparing them in terms of technical feasibility, impacts and costs. In considering the bypass alternatives, both technical and natural fishway construction methods and other existing fish passage technology will be taken into account,” says Katri Hämäläinen, Environmental Manager at Fortum.

The preliminary study is being conducted in cooperation with Ramboll Finland Oy and through engagement with stakeholders and local residents. Two meetings open to the public will be held during the preliminary study phase of the project. In addition, a monitoring group has been set up with representatives from the local fisheries and water authorities, the Emäjoki and Oulujärvi fisheries areas, the Kainuu fisheries centre, the Natural Resources Institute, Metsähallitus, Ristijärvi and Hyrynsalmi municipalities, and Montan Lohi Oy.

The preliminary study of the Seitenoikea bypass solution is expected to be completed by the end of February 2024. Based on the results of that study, a bypass solution alternative will be selected and then a more detailed planning phase will begin.


Aiming to strengthen the natural cycle of lake trout

The bypass solution planned for the Seitenoikea hydropower plant is part of a set of measures to strengthen the natural cycle of the endangered lake trout in Lake Oulujärvi. The measures will focus on the Hyrynsalmi route, where the only key sites identified in the National Fish Passage Strategy for the Oulujoki river system are located.

The set of measures also includes, for example, the restoration of habitats and breeding areas important for the life cycle of lake trout, the stocking of juvenile lake trout, and the Fishheart fishway of the Leppikoski hydropower plant.


Fortum Corporation

Further information:
Katri Hämäläinen, Environmental Manager, Fortum, tel. +358 40 162 3901