Albert Lea, Minnesota
Watershed managers documented significant water quality improvements in the years following the installation of a Smith-Root electric fish barrier and the eradication of invasive carp in Pickerel and Mud Lakes in the Shell Rock River Watershed in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
To further improve water quality in the headwaters and develop a comprehensive approach to watershed management, additional Smith-Root electric fish barriers were constructed on adjacent Shell Rock River tributaries, including one on Wedge Creek. A pair of electric fish barrier arrays was constructed in existing 10 foot x 6 foot rectangular concrete culverts on Wedge Creek. Following installation and activation of the barrier, carp were eradicated from the upstream waterway. The electric field of the barrier stops the invasive carp from re-infesting restored upstream habitats.
To construct the barriers, the culverts were dewatered and lined with high density polyurethane sheets to electrically isolate the electrodes from the culvert. Six U-shaped flat steel bar electrodes were mounted, and three 1.5 kW Smith-Root pulsators create an electric field that prevents fish passage. As always, safety is a preeminent component, therefore, gates were constructed at each end of the culverts to prevent human entry into the energized area.