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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 7,615
Likes: 5
Field Correspondent
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Field Correspondent
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 7,615
Likes: 5

A $3.7 million machine that's forever blowing bubbles can make the Stockton Deep Water Channel more hospitable for migrating fish, state officials have concluded in a report.

For four years they've tinkered with an aerator on the northwest end of Rough and Ready Island at the Port of Stockton. The giant bubble blower basically sucks water from the channel and pumps it 200 feet underground while injecting oxygen gas. The bubbles dissolve under all that pressure and the oxygenated water is released back into the channel.

Experts concluded they can boost dissolved oxygen levels in the channel during the late summer, when adult fall-run Chinook salmon are swimming through the area. Sometimes, but not always, that boost will be significant enough that the water in the channel will meet state standards to protect fish.

"I think we can confidently say we're improving the conditions," said project manager Bill McLaughlin, a senior engineer with the state Department of Water Resources. "This shouldn't be looked at as the fix-all, but it should be used as a tool to absolutely help."

The question now is who will pay the $160,000 to $310,000 in annual operations and maintenance costs to keep the bubbler bubbling. An agreement will have to be worked out among the organizations that have a stake in the matter, said Jeff Wingfield, an environmental manager at the Port of Stockton.

A final report by Water Resources finds that the aerator was built in the right spot and sometimes - but not always - it will keep dissolved oxygen levels within standards to protect fish. It can deliver about 8,000 pounds of oxygen per day, less than the design capacity of 10,000 pounds. McLaughlin said experts are looking at ways to
make the bubble blower more efficient.


"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 191
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 191
Umm, why cant they use Weir dams like they do on all the TVA Dams to induce oxygen to the deep water release systems to get cold water for the troutable tailwats of lakes like Norris, South Holsten, etc?? It certainly seems cheaper then what they are doing now???? Govt agencies ofen overlook the cheap obvious fix for a system that insure job security for the next 10 years for someone......


Have fish..Will Travel
Mark Blauvelt - Dayton Ohio
.75 acre pond, HSB,YP,CC,BC,BCF,BG,HBG,RES

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