Wedge Creek

Immediate and dramatic water quality improvements were more than apparent within a year of construction of the Smith- Root electric fish barrier.
  • Location: Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • Commissioned: 2010
  • Type: Lake

Project description

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.

Services provided

  • Coordination with Shell Rock River Watershed District and civil engineer G-cubed
  • Electrical and electronic design of the pulsators and power supply systems
  • Supply of electronics
  • Regular maintenance

Site characteristics

  • Pulsators: 1.5kVA POW
  • Pulsator Qty: 6
  • Power Output: 9.0 kW max.
  • Water Depth: 0-5 feet
  • Waterway Width: 10 feet (per culvert)
  • Water Velocity: 0-3 ft./s
  • Conductivity: 650 µs/cm max.