Yakama Nation fisheries staff developed a plan to install fish screens on three irrigation diversion ditches in Simcoe Creek Watershed, which is home to multiple freshwater life history stages of ESA listed Mid-Columbia River steelhead. These unscreened diversions had historically diverted streamflow and ultimately caused juvenile Steelhead to be stranded in the canals at the end of the irrigation season.
In 2007, Yakama Reservation Watershed Project (YRWP) staff developed a working relationship with a private irrigator on the Smartlowit diversion (one of the three unscreened diversions) to arrest steelhead stranding within the irrigation system by installing an infiltration gallery. However, after discovering bedrock, it was determined that the infiltration gallery would be unsuccessful at the site.
There were two remaining options for screening: a farmers fish screen or a four cubif feet per second (CFS) Rotary Wiper W/Guard fish screen. After meeting with engineers, YN Tribal staff, and the landowner, it was decided to install the four CFS Rotary Wiper W/ Guard fish screen. This alternative was selected based on the anticipated debris load and historical documentation of Simcoe Creek stream flow.
Safely and efficiently exclude fish from being diverted into an irrigation system.
The four CFS Rotary fish screen was installed and began operation in the spring of 2011. Yakama Nation Water code staff and YRWP staff are operating and maintaining this fish screen.