The Mahala Irrigation Ditch diversion
structure is the last downstream diversion on Lakefork Creek, a tributary
to Cascade Reservoir. Native rainbow trout spawning in Lakefork were lost
upon return by being diverted into the irrigation delivery system. A gravel
berm was pushed up to check up water levels for diversion, which dried
up the creekbed and also diverted the young fry.
Eight partners worked together to
find a solution to this problem of fishery sustainment and water quality.
A new structure was designed with a fish ladder, fish screens and water
measuring device. The local irrigation district cooperated to install
the new diversion and maintain the fish screens.
At a cost of about $37,000 the new
structure is credited with saving over 50,000 returning fry, this year
alone, to Cascade Reservoir. The project opened up an additional two miles
of spawning habitat.
Cooperating partners: Mahala Ditch
Company, Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, Idaho Fish and Game,
Trout Unlimited, US Bureau of Reclamation, Idaho Division of Environmental
Quality, Idaho Department of Water Resources, Natural Resources Conservation