Introduction to Nature-like Fishways for Dams: Instructors

Dr. Luther Aadland is a river scientist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and has worked as a river restoration consultant across the United States.  He received a B.A. degree in Biology from Concordia College-Moorhead in 1979, a M.S. in Zoology from North Dakota State University in 1982 where he designed, built, and studied artificial reefs, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of North Dakota in 1987 where he designed experimental streams based on natural channel morphology, and studied chinook salmon interactions with native species in a large reservoir.  He subsequently received additional training in fluvial geomorphology and hydraulic modeling.  He has worked for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a river scientist for 29 years.  His research and publications include topics in fluvial geomorphology, habitat requirements of fish and mussels, relationships between hydrology and aquatic microhabitat, stream ecology, river restoration, dam removal, nature-like fish passage, and other river sciences.  He has taught workshops in these fields through the Minnesota DNR, University of Wisconsin and other agencies for 22 years.  His book, “Reconnecting Rivers” provides design rationale and case examples for dam removal, river restoration, and nature-like fish passage.

Luther has designed more than 180 river restoration projects in collaboration with engineers and scientists from federal, state, and local units of government.  These projects have included restoration of channelized rivers, river restoration in sediment-laden reservoirs following dam removal, artificial reefs, experimental research streams, restoration of critical habitat, ecologically sound flood damage reduction, and nature-like fish passage.  He developed the rock arch rapids concept to address dam-related drowning hazards, fish passage, and tailwater erosion problems associated with low-head dams.  Hydraulic undertows at some of these dams had caused numerous drowning deaths.  With elimination of the “drowning machine” hazards, safety at these dams has been substantially improved despite increased recreational use.  Project benefits have included improved public safety, restoration of ecological functions and biodiversity, and establishment of self-sustaining features that do not require operations or routine maintenance.

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