Eels – Understanding their Importance and Enabling Safe Downstream Passage through Hydropower Sites

Time: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room Number: South American
Day: 3/12/2024

This learning opportunity will focus on American eels, their long history in North America, their ecological, cultural, and historical significance, as well as their safe downstream passage through hydropower production facilities including operational, policy, and regulatory aspects.

The intent of this seminar, brought to attendees by NHA's Hydro Academy, is to surface the challenges that both natural resource and hydropower practitioners face in addressing the dual priorities of maintaining and developing renewable energy sources and reversing the decline of the American eel population.

Participants will discuss science-based best practices that support mutually beneficial outcomes, including simplified hydro operations, healthy fisheries, and improved water quality.

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Introductions & Framing

Part 1: The Role of Freshwater Eels in River Ecosystems and the Status of Eels and Hydropower
-- Why eels matter
-- The status of American eels and challenges to eels posed by hydropower
-- Monitoring and Assessment
-- Solutions: Fish passage options that meet existing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service standards

Coffee Break/Networking

Part 2: Maintaining the Benefits of Hydropower while Enabling Safe Downstream Eel Passage
-- Hydropower’s importance in the energy transition and in supporting biodiversity
-- Regulatory processes
-- Case studies: innovative technologies and solutions & ongoing research
-- Incentives to support eel populations and hydropower production
-- Breakout Discussion
-- Concluding Remarks and Opportunities for Further Conversation


Kate Stirr
Kate StirrVice President of External AffairsNatel EnergyEmcee
Kenneth Hogan
Kenneth HoganRegional Hydropower CoordinatorFish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Department of the InteriorFacilitator
Sheila Eyler
Sheila EylerProject Leader, Mid-Atlantic Fish & Wildlife Conservation OfficeFish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the InteriorSpeaker
Tekaherha Logan Lazore
Tekaherha Logan LazoreEnvironmental Field TechnicianMohawk Council of AkwesasneSpeaker
Courtney Holden
Courtney HoldenResearch ScientistRiver InstituteSpeaker
Bryan Sojkowski
Bryan SojkowskiRegional Fish Passage EngineerU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the InteriorSpeaker
Drew Trested
Drew TrestedVice President/Fisheries ScientistNormandeau Associates, Inc.Speaker
Shannon Ames
Shannon AmesExecutive DirectorLow Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI)Speaker
Stephen Amaral
Stephen AmaralPrincipal Fisheries BiologistAlden Research Laboratory, Inc.Speaker
Abe Schneider
Abe SchneiderCo-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO)Natel EnergySpeaker
Sterling Watson
Sterling WatsonStaff Mechanical EngineerNatel EnergySpeaker
Alex Haro
Alex HaroScientist Emeritus, Fish Biologist, S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research LaboratoryU.S. Geological SurveySpeaker
Dana McCoskey
Dana McCoskeyEnvironmental Technologies Manager, Water Power Technologies OfficeU.S. Department of EnergySpeaker


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