Fish trap and transfer facility modification work continues in Montta hydropower plant in Finland

Fortum Montta

The Montta trap and transfer facility helps to collect valuable data about fish migration in constructed rivers and to determine the potential of the River Oulujoki in terms of development of natural migratory fish population and enhancing aquatic biodiversity. Once the modification work has been completed, the fish trap and transport facility in Montta is taken into use for the period 2021.

The development work of the trap and transfer facility, which started four years ago, is continuing. Fortum’s decision to implement a major modification to the Montta trap and transfer facility is aiming to facilitate the equipment operation and to improve in capturing the fish. During 2021 the trap and transfer facility’s collection basins are reduced in size and the control gates of the entrance are improved.

“Reducing the size of the collection basins will make it easier to raise them, fish will be prevented from escaping, and occupational safety will be improved. With the improvement of the control gates, the facility creates an attractive flow also when the Montta power plant’s tailwater is at its highest,” says Fortum Environmental Specialist Katri Hämäläinen.

Continuous development of the Montta fish trap and transfer facility is producing results

The facility was used from August to the end of October last year to trap and transfer sea trout and salmon to their breeding areas. During the season the facility trapped 63 salmon, seven sea trout and five rainbow trout, marking a clear improvement from trapping results in previous years. During the season’s two transfer operations, three female sea trout, three male sea trout, six female salmon, and twelve male salmon were transferred. About only 20% of the fish migrating up the River Oulujoki are female, which has a decisive impact on the number of fish being transferred.

In 2022 fixed lifting equipment will be installed at the trap and transport facility. This equipment will allow the basins to be raised when needed to ensure that the fish that have entered the facility are trapped.

The Northern Finland Regional State Administrative Agency has granted a permit to transfer the fish trapped at the Montta trap and transfer facility to the Rivers Utosjoki and Kutujoki, two tributaries of the River Oulujoki. The transfer permit for sea salmon and trout is valid for 2020–2024. At the end of June, the Northern Finland Regional Agency issued a modified decision: this year the trapping and transferring of salmon cannot begin until 1.9.2021. Trout can be transferred over the entire year.

Fortum is committed to several climate and environmental targets that include the target to implement at the Group-level significant voluntary measures to promote biodiversity. The modification work aiming to advance the usability and effectiveness of the Montta trap and transfer facility is a voluntary action promoting biodiversity.