Patent application title: Fish Guidance and Exclusion Barrier
Paul S. Meeks (Canton, OH, US)
Jeffrey Sanger (Jensen Beach, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AE02B808FI
Class name: Fluid control, treatment, or containment flow control fishway
Publication date: 2012-01-05
Patent application number: 20120003046
One embodiment of a fish guidance and exclusion barrier having an upper
reticulated section (10) imbricated by a lower reticulated section (12)
which communicates with the upper section. The upper and lower sections
are attached in an above water position to a floating device (24) with
the lower section being suspended from the floating device utilizing
funicular leads (22). The funicular leads are affixed to the floating
device with latch type connectors (20) attached to loop type mounts (18)
and to the lower sections with latch type connectors attached through
grommets (16). Other embodiments are described and shown.
1. A fish guidance and exclusion barrier device means to divert or
prevent the downstream progression of fish and or debris within a body of
water comprising: A plurality of suspended reticulated means to allow the
flow of water beyond said means and prevent the passage of fish or debris
beyond said means. Said screen or reticulated means as described above
may extend below the surface of the water for a predetermined length.
2. The barrier of claim 1 wherein said reticulated means consists of upper and lower sections.
3. The barrier of claim 1 wherein a plurality of barriers may be suspended longitudinally across a pre-determined span.
4. The barrier of claim 3 wherein a plurality of longitudinally suspended barriers may be affixed end to end means to provide a continuous barrier for a predetermined length.
5. The barrier of claim 1 wherein said upper and lower sections may be attached to a floating device
6. The barrier of claim 5 wherein the attachment means of said upper and lower sections is positioned in an above water location.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 Not Applicable
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 Not Applicable
SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM
 Not Applicable
 The following is a tabulation of some prior art that presently appears relevant:
TABLE-US-00001 U.S. Patents Pat. No. Issue Date Patentee 4,064,048 Dec. 20, 1977 Downs, et al. 4,929,122 May 29, 1990 Yoas 5,263,833 Nov. 23, 1993 Robinson, et al. 5,445,111 Aug. 29, 1995 Smith 6,102,619 Aug. 15, 2000 Truebe, et al. 6,467,997 Oct. 22, 2002 Johnson 6,524,028 Feb. 25, 2003 Bryan 6,712,555 Mar. 30, 2004 Truebe, et al. 6,793,440 Sep. 21, 2004 Nestler, et al. 6,964,541 Nov. 15, 2005 Bryan 7,063,484 Jun. 20, 2006 Meeks, et al. 7,048,850 May 23, 2006 DePaso, et al. 7,300,572 Nov. 27, 2007 DePaso, et al. 7,594,779 Sep. 29, 2009 Hilstad, et al.
NONPATENT LITERATURE DOCUMENTS
 Google: Fish Diversion Systems or Analysis or Literature
 Operators of water resource dependent facilities typically utilize various devices and methods for intercepting and guiding fish and other marine life towards bypass or collection structures. In the past, these structures utilized high flow and specially designed sluice ways to attract fish away from dangerous intake turbines, pumps and impellers and into special devices that ensure safe upstream and downstream fish passage. Although these devices have dramatically increased fish survival rates at such facilities the fish mortality rate is too high. Research has shown that the use of upstream ancillary devices that can divert or guide fish towards these collectors and bypass structures can significantly increase fish survival rates. In response, operators of facilities have relied on existing floating waterway log & debris barriers and buoys to create a surface guidance effect for migrating fish. Typically such facilities relate to water intakes serving power generation, industrial, irrigation, and water treatment systems. Often such operators employ multiple devices or methods each singularly tasked to a primary purpose such as log and debris barrier, security barrier, and encroachment barrier.
 The systems and devices in U.S. Pat. No. 4,064,048 issued Dec. 20, 1977 to Downs, et al; U.S. Pat. No. 4,929,122 issued May 29, 1990 to Yoas; U.S. Pat. No. 5,445,111 issued Aug. 29, 1995 to Smith; U.S. Pat. No. 6,524,028 issued Feb. 25, 2003 to Bryan; U.S. Pat. No. 6,964,541 issued Nov. 15, 2005 to Bryan; U.S. Pat. No. 7,048,850 issued May 23, 2006 to DePaso, et al; U.S. Pat. No. 7,300,572 issued Nov. 27, 2007 to DePaso, et al; and U.S. Pat. No. 7,594,779 issued Sep. 29, 2009 to Hilstad, et al. describe different attempts for effecting a fish barrier or diversion. Each of these attempts share a common deficiency being limited efficacy to only within a defined watercourse channel constructed to supply water intakes. Yet another common deficiency is that each presents an all or none option and do not offer adaptability to other like tasked devices nor are any to attachable to a non-related device such as a floating log and debris boom.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,263,833 issued Nov. 23, 1993 to Robinson, et al. presents a surface mounted fish screen device. This device claims buoyant elements and the ability to connect multiple sections which allow it to be installed in defined watercourses as well as across open water expanses. This design attempts to guide fish towards a desired location by placing trash-rack like bars underneath a floating device. The device as designed possesses several critical deficiencies that limit its effectiveness as at fish guidance.
 First, the barrier utilizes a trash-rack mounted to a floating device. The trash-rack has angled bars spaced apart to create a gap between the bars. This gap permits smaller specifies of fish and marine creatures to easily pass through the fish guide. The spacing between the bars reduces the flow velocity along the surface of the fish guidance device resulting in an insufficient current to effect fish guidance. In order for fish to migrate along and not through a fish guidance device, a sufficient water current for the fish to follow must be present. The large openings and resultant lack of a guiding current diminishes its utility at fish guidance. The device does not appear to present an effective attempt at creating a barrier to prevent the passage of fish.
 Yet another substantial deficiency of the device is its use of wood as primary method of buoyancy. Due to its high rate of water absorption wood is a poor choice for the environment in which the device is intended to be deployed. Wood looses buoyancy through absorption thereby becoming heavier and weaker. In order to prevent wood from absorbing water, it must be injected with various chemical agents such as creosote making it toxic to its installation environment. Additionally, as the wood absorbs water and becomes heavier and weaker it would require significant additional maintenance and frequent replacement.
 The connecting mechanism limits application of the device to short spans and defined watercourses. An elongate structure is created by positioning multiple sections end to end. The connecting mechanism secures and squares adjoining sections with two tie bars secured at the facing corners of each section. This results in a rigid structure with poor capacities for absorbing impacts, distributing, flexing or bending with load. This deficiency would increase as the number of connected sections increases thereby restricting installation of the device to short spans and defined watercourses. This deficiency is rooted in the device design and not dependent on the materials used in its construction. This deficiency would result in a more rigid, straight line installation that creates extremely high tension along the barrier thereby increasing the hardware requirements and anchorage requirements thus resulting in a more costly installation.
 The inventor of the device describes an advantage of the device is to provide facile replacement of sections and facile maintenance. The device appears to generally achieve this objective only when compared against other prior art. However, the damage created by water will require an ever increasing maintenance regimen thereby negating any claims of facile maintenance. Additionally the underwater slat assembly appears to encumber substantial weight thereby requiring a diver and mechanical lifting apparatus for routine maintenance.
 In accordance with one embodiment a fish guidance and exclusion barrier comprises an upper reticulated section and a lower reticulated section, funicular leads with latch type connector mechanisms affixed at each end, and a rigid loop type mounting mechanism which may be affixed to a floating device in an above water position.
 Accordingly several advantages of one or more aspects are as follows:
 To provide an attachment to floating devices that can be suspended from a floating device, that can be facilely installed from above the surface of the water, that can be facilely maintained from above the surface of the water, and which can be comprised of a variety of reticulated materials which may vary according to user specifications.
 To provide an underwater system that effectively prevents passage of fish and other marine life by either acting as a barrier wall or when installed at an angle, by directing fish towards a spillway, collection device or some other form of fish passage.
 To provide a modular system that can be pre-assembled on land and lowered into the water using standard lifting equipment.
 To provide a modular system that utilizes connections designed to allow the system to flex or bow and absorb loads.
 To provide a system that can be easily adapted to site specific aquatic and environmental conditions.
 To provide an elongate system that provides zero-gap between underwater sections to prevent fish passage.
 To provide a system that can use a multitude of reticulated materials appropriate for the specific habitat in which the system is deployed.
 To provide a system that can be extended to variable depths depending upon site specific requirements.
 To provide a system with above the water surface connectors for facile maintenance, inspection, and replacement.
 Other advantages of one or more aspects will be apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.
 FIG. 1 shows a head on perspective view of a fish guidance and exclusion barrier in a preferred embodiment attached to a floating device.
 FIG. 2 shows a close up view of one embodiment of the preferred method of attaching a fish guidance and exclusion barrier using a loop type mounting mechanism affixed to a floating device and a latch type connector mechanism affixed to one end of a funicular lead.
 FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of a lower reticulated section in a preferred embodiment showing funicular leads attached along the top horizontal edge of the section as well as bottom weights affixed along bottom horizontal edge of the section.
 FIG. 4 shows a side view perspective in a preferred embodiment attached to a floating device showing upper and lower reticulated sections.
TABLE-US-00002  10 upper reticulated element 12 lower reticulated element 14 bottom weights 16 grommet 18 loop type mount 20 latch type connector 22 funicular lead 24 floating device 26 anchor weights 28 gap barrier 30 float ball 32 frame
FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4--Preferred Embodiment
 A preferred embodiment of a fish guidance and exclusion barrier device is illustrated in FIG. 1. The device has a flat upper section 10 consisting of a screen or reticulated material which can permit the flow of water through the material while restricting or stopping the progression of fish and water borne debris. The upper section 10 is surrounded by a frame 32 which adds structural support to the section. A second lower section 12 consisting of a reticulated material is posited to overlap a portion of the upper section 10 and extend in a downward direction along the same plane as the upper section 10. The horizontal dimensions of the upper section 10 and the lower section 12 portion may vary according to end user specification. In the preferred embodiment the horizontal dimensions of both sections are equal. In the preferred embodiment the horizontal dimensions of the device are matched to the horizontal dimensions of a floating device 24 to which the device is to be affixed. The vertical dimensions of the upper section 10 may vary according to end user specifications generally according to water flow requirements. The vertical dimensions of the lower section 12 may vary according to end user specifications generally according to the distance between a point within the upper section 10 and the bed of the body of water in which the device is employed.
 Beginning at one end along the top horizontal edge of the lower section 12, grommets 16 are affixed through the reticulated element and spaced periodically the entire horizontal edge ending at the opposite end. The spacing of the grommets 16 may vary according to end user specifications generally according to weight and load considerations affecting the lower section 12.
 In the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 a latch type connector mechanism 20 is affixed to each end of a funicular lead 22. The length of the funicular lead 22 may vary according to user specifications according to the distance between the position of the top of the lower section 12 and a loop type mount 18 which is affixed in an above water position to a floating device 24. A latch type connector 20 affixed to one end of a funicular lead 22 is connected to a loop type mount 18 such as an eye-bolt which is affixed in an above water position to a floating device. A latch type connector 20 affixed to the opposite end of the funicular lead 22 is connected through a single grommet 16 at a predetermined position along the top of the lower section 12. In the preferred embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 an additional length of funicular lead 22 is affixed to the latch type connector which is connected to an underwater grommet 16 along the top of the lower section 12 of the device. A float ball 30 is affixed by any suitable method to the opposite end of the additional length of funicular lead. The length of the additional segment of funicular lead will vary according to user specifications and will generally be longer than the distance between the surface of the water and the top of the lower section of the device to which the funicular lead is to be connected.
 A close up perspective of the preferred loop and latch type connection method of connecting the lower section 12 to a floating device 24 is shown in FIG. 2. In this embodiment a loop type mount 18 such as an eye bolt is affixed in an above water position to a floating device 24. A latch type connector 20 affixed at one end of a funicular lead 22 is connected to the loop type mount 18. The opposite end of the funicular lead 22 not shown in the close up perspective depicted in FIG. 2 is affixed to a latch type connector 20 which is then connected to the lower section 12 of the device.
 A perspective embodiment of the lower section 12 of the device is depicted in FIG. 3 showing the lower reticulated section 12, anchor weights 26 affixed to the bottom of the lower section 12, the funicular lead 22 with latch type connectors 20 affixed at each end, and the additional length of funicular lead 22 affixed at one end to the latch type connector connected to through a grommet 16 along the top of the lower section 12, and a float ball affixed to the opposite end of the additional length of funicular lead 22.
 An end view perspective of the device is depicted in FIG. 4 showing a floating device 24, the upper reticulated section 10 attached to the floating device 24, the lower reticulated section 12 connected to the floating device 24, anchor weights 26 affixed to the bottom of the lower section 12, the funicular lead 22 with latch type connectors 20 affixed at each end, and the additional length of funicular lead 22 affixed at one end to the latch type connector connected to through a grommet 16 along the top of the lower section 12, and a float ball affixed to the opposite end of the additional length of funicular lead 22.
Operation--FIG. 4 and FIG. 5
 The end view perspective of the preferred embodiment of the fish guidance and exclusion barrier device is depicted in FIG. 4. The upper reticulated section 10 is affixed along a horizontal plane to by any suitable method to a floating device 24 so that the upper section extends downward below the surface of a body of water on which the floating device is situated thereby creating perpendicular vertical plane from the floating device 24. Beginning at one end of the floating device 24 a predetermined quantity of loop type mounting devices such as eye bolts are affixed periodically along a horizontal plane, in an above water position along the length of the floating device 24 with the last loop type mount situated at or near the opposite end of the floating device 24. A predetermined quantity of funicular leads with latch type connectors affixed at each end are connected to the loop type mounts so that the end of the lead having no additional leads attached is connected first to the loop type mounts affixed horizontally along the length of the floating device 24. the latch type connectors are connected to the lower reticulated section 12 through the grommets 16 using spacing which is similar to the spacing of the loop and latch connections spaced along the length of the floating device. Anchor weights are affixed to the bottom of the lower section 12 beginning at one end and extending along a horizontal plane ending at the opposite end of the lower section 12. The entire lower section 12 is placed into the body of water so that the anchor weights extend the lower section down towards the bed of the body of water. The lengths of the funicular leads connecting the lower section to the floating device 24 are adjusted so that the lower section overlaps a predetermined portion of the lower portion of the upper section 10 extending the entire horizontal length of the device. The flow of the body of water pushes the overlapping portion of the lower section 12 against the upper section 10 thereby holding the lower section in its place along the submerged upper section. The connected funicular leads prevent the forces of the water flow from pulling the lower section away from the device and down current. The lower section is not attached directly to the upper section so that the lower section may be inspected, maintained, or replaced facilely from working above water without the use of divers or other underwater apparatus. The additional funicular lead affixed to the latch type connector connected to the lower section, with a float ball affixed at its opposite end are allowed to float upon the water surface so that operators may facilely locate the leads connecting to the lower section 12.
 FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment of a series of floating devices 24 connected end to end to create a continuous barrier across the surface of a body of water. In the preferred embodiment the fish guidance and exclusion barrier device is affixed to each section of the continuous floating barrier thereby creating a continuous fish guidance and exclusion barrier below the surface of the water along the same direction and vertical plane as the floating barrier.
 Yet another embodiment of a continuous fish guidance and exclusion barrier a predetermined length of reticulated or non reticulated material may be attached by any suitable method to create a continuous underwater barrier between device sections.
 There are various possibilities for the materials used in either the upper or lower sections. Additional variations exist for the type of connectors and funicular lead material which may be used for the device. The greatest determinant of materials used in the construction of the device will vary according to user specifications and the conditions in which the device is intended to be employed.
 From the above description, a number of advantages of some embodiments of our fish guidance and exclusion barrier are evident:
 (a) Providing a suspended attachment to upstream located floating log and debris boom lines or other floating devices can provide a cost effective and efficient method for water intake operators to guide fish from their critical facilities.
 (b) The ability to utilize a single system as a simple barrier or, by making simple adjustments to the angle at which the device operates, as a device for guiding fish towards a spillway or diversion channel.
 (c) The modular system may be pre-assembled on land and easily lowered into the water using standard lifting equipment.
 (d) The use of a variety of underwater underwater reticulated materials allows the system to be easily adapted to site specific fish, water and environmental conditions.
 (e) The addition of a reticulated material between devices provides zero-gap between underwater screens to prevent fish passage.
 (f) The placement of lower section connectors above the water surface allows easy maintenance, inspection, and replacement.
 Accordingly, readers will see that the fish guidance and exclusion barrier is an improvement over the prior art by providing a device capable of simultaneously guiding and blocking multiple sizes of fish which can be installed and maintained from above the surface of the water and which can be attached to many different types of floating devices.
 The description and drawings above contain many specificities, but these should not be construed to limit the scope of the embodiments but rather to illustrate some of several possible embodiments. For example, the fish guidance and exclusion barrier could be suspended from a cable suspended above a body of water rather than from a device floating on the surface of the body of water.
 Thus the scope of the embodiments should be determined by the claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.
Patent applications in class Fishway
Patent applications in all subclasses Fishway