Hydro Dam Releases Harming Bugs: USGS

1186205_10151880998228234_1402656612_n

RAPID increases in hydro-electric dams during the day to meet high electricity demand has been linked to the decline of aquatic insects in those tailwaters.

The report found that many species of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies laid their eggs immediately below the water’s surface, making them vulnerable to changing river flows. This summer’s flows on the White in particular have been high and hard most days .

The decline of aquatic insects downstream from some hydroelectric dams has been linked to a widespread practice known as hydropeaking, whereby river flows are increased during the day when electricity demands are large, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey, along with researchers from Oregon State University, Utah State University and Idaho State University. Findings show it may be possible to mitigate these negative effects by using alternative hydropower practices: USGS