Project Description

Informing the design of fish passes to mitigate the impact of dams on fish migrations in the Lower Mekong Basin

The Khone Falls fish pass study is the first of its kind in the Mekong region. For the most part, fish pass design has been based on studies conducted outside the Mekong region and with a focus on fish species not found in the Mekong River. The project aims to assess the swimming capabilities of migratory fish species in the Khone Falls to help design fish passes that are tailored to the needs and capabilities of Mekong fish species.

The project makes use of aerial footage and photography to perform in-depth analysis of channel morphology. Footage taken during the peak of the dry season gives specialists a detailed view into the geomorphological characteristics of each channel and the kinds of conditions that support or inhibit fish migration. The spatial data generated from aerial capture complements the hydrological monitoring and biological assessments undertaken through consultation with local fishers.

The baseline data devised from this three-pronged approach will be the most comprehensive baseline on Mekong fish migration capacity compiled to date.