NYPA Eel Migration Tracking


NYPA was studying the downstream passage and survival of American Eels in the vicinity of the Moses Saunders Dam. Baird produced a modeling, visualization and data analysis software system to aid in processing and understanding the acoustic telemetry data from tagged eels.

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New York Power Authority
Moses Saunders Dam, St. Lawrence River
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Moses Saunders Dam, St. Lawrence River

Project Highlights


Techniques for visualizing the data from acoustic telemetry receivers and methods for producing and animating the paths of the eels were developed within a 3D model of the flow conditions near the dam.

  • Collection of field data using boat-mounted ADCP’s
  • Development of a 3D model using MIKE3
  • Development of both 3D and GIS-based software systems for the development of the tracks

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Project Challenges


  • Process a large volume of acoustic telemetry data.
  • Gain an understanding the three-dimensional movement of the eels.
  • Discern how the eels respond to current conditions.
  • Understand the paths taken by the eels.

Baird Solutions


  • A preprocessing system was developed and linked into MS Access database.
  • Range estimates from multiple receivers were displayed in a 3D user interface to highlight the most probable position.
  • The water velocity was extracted from the 3D model current field and mapped onto each eel to see how it responded to current.
  • Multiple eels were queried and selected and could be animated together.

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