Electric Barriers Considered for San Lorenzo Steelhead Protection

August 29, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

Local officials are considering a new solution to the problem of seals feeding on steelhead in their spawning grounds in central California: electric barriers. While similar projects are already under way for the Columbia River and two rivers in British Columbia, Washington-based Smith-Root Inc. is looking at ways to improve their system for operation in saltwater so that they can be used at the San Lorenzo River mouth. “The pulse discourages seals and sea lions from passing by, but goes largely undetected by fish, according to the company. ‘The larger the animal, the more field lines the body will intercept, and these lines are additive,’ explained Carl Burger, a senior scientist with Smith-Root.” Curtis Alexander in the Sentinel.