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Vision X Lights Test Fish Migration Patterns at Lake Cushman

Lake Cushman No 1. Dam Sign

Customer: City of Tacoma, Tacoma Power

Location: Lake Cushman, WA

Application: Floating Surface Collector


To improve fish migration habits at Lake Cushman, Tacoma Power moved forward with the Cushman Hydroelectric Project to safely guide and restore fish populations. This project included the installation of a 50-foot wide and 100-foot long floating fish collector attached to Cushman Dam No. 1.

One of the challenges was making sure the lighting fixtures installed on the surface collector were sufficient enough to accurately measure the fish. Furthermore, it was proposed that the lighting caused a negative affect on fish migration patterns dissuading them from entering the collector.

Tacoma Power wanted enough light output that wouldn’t result in shadows. Based on the application, the biologist concluded the shadows may be diverting the fish away from the collector. The lumen output and optics of a light fixture were deeply considered in choosing a light that would be effective. The environment was also an issue, as the fixtures would need to sustain a wet environment.

Vision X offered a high output LED light fixture with wide flood optics resulting in uniformed light while shining as close to the water surface as possible. Since the light wouldn’t be exposed to salt-water and there were no vibration issues, heavy duty powdered coated steel trunnions were installed as stainless steel trunnions wouldn’t be unnecessary.

At this point, it's difficult to tell whether the lighting increased the amount of fish entering the surface collector. However, Tacoma Power can be rest assured with a quality and robust lighting fixture with a 50,000+ hour lifespan.

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