West Central

 Highlands RC&D


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East Fork Ditch Company Assists Bull Trout Recovery

The East Fork Ditch Company supplies irrigation water to 54 users in the Council, Idaho area.  When bull trout was listed as a threatened and endangered species the District knew they had to do something to keep them out of their irrigation ditch.  Also their diversion structure was not friendly to upstream movement of fish. The ditch diversion site in on Forest Service administered lands, so they became part of the solution. An in field review started a process that eventually lead to the installation of a new technology for fish screens in Idaho.  With assistance from many partners, funds were administered by the West Central Highlands RC&D to construct a step pool complex that allows fish to migrate upstream over the diversion. The final touch was to install a horizontal flat plate screen in the ditch.  This screen, through regulated velocities and turbulence, is self cleaning but required some stream flow to return water to the creek with the fish. Total project costs were $88,225, much of it from grants through the Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Fish and Game, the Ditch Company and technical assistance was provided by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and Farmers Irrigation Company from Hood River Oregon, who introduced the new technology of horizontal flat plate screens.

Water users and agency staff inspect new fish screen on East Fork Weiser River