Family Water Alliance

Chinook Salmon

Although permitting challenges delayed the installation of three fish screen projects, FWA along with our screening partners, installed the first screen under the Program that is within the legal Delta.

The Sanchez Farms fish screen project, located off of Grand Island on Steamboat Slough, was completed in November of last year.

This small 25 cfs siphon diversion was screened with an ISI cylindrical fish screen which will be thoroughly brush-cleaned using an integrated propeller drive system. When water flows into the screen unit, a propeller turns and rotates a gear reducer unit drive system. This drive unit slowly rotates the screen cylinder, causing its surface to pass by, and be in contact with a stationary (and adjustable) brush bar mounted parallel to the screen surface. The inside of the screen will also be cleaned when it rotates about an internal brush system. The intake flow rate needs to be about 6 cfs before the screen cylinder starts to rotate and self clean. The entire propeller drive unit is sealed.

Sanchez Farms produces approximately 500 acres of various crops, such as asparagus, corn, alfalfa and pears. It is amazing the diversity of agriculture products that are grown in this critical area of the Delta.

The Alamo Farms fish screen system was also installed in November. Located in Colusa County on the Sacramento River, this 36 cfs diversion was screened with a cylindrical fish screen utilizing a traditional hydraulic self-cleaning system.

Alamo Farms produces over 850 acres of alfalfa, rice, wheat and corn on the west side of the Sacramento River.

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FWA and the Anadromous Fish Screen Program (AFSP) have partnered together to test a fish deterrent device, possibly adding another screening option for smaller diversions with minimal costs.

The project will consist of a research study to test the fish deterring device under actual in-river conditions at an existing diversion intake during the diversion season; while monitoring the results of fish entrainment with and without the device being deployed.

Laboratory studies, funded by AFSP, were conducted at the University of California (UC) at Davis’ J. Amorocho Hydraulics Laboratory. These studies have indicated that The new fish deterrent device prototype.certain fish deterring devices may successfully result in significant reductions in entrainment of juvenile Chinook salmon when applied to a smaller unscreened intake of 18 inches or less.

FWA and AFSP are interested in evaluating the effectiveness of the deterring device, since it could provide a lower cost option for minimizing fish losses at certain unscreened diversions rather than a more expensive positive barrier screens.
While laboratory studies have been helpful in developing fish deterring devices and assessing their potential for reducing fish entrainment, they did not provide definitive answers about the effectiveness of a fish deterring device under natural, fluctuating, in-river conditions.

The study will evaluate the effectiveness of the fish deterring device for reducing fish entrainment for all fish species encountering the diversion, including Chinook salmon. It will also provide useful information on potential operations and maintenance issues associated with use of this type of fish deterring device at a diversion intake.

The monitoring will begin in the spring of 2013 for the entire irrigation season and again for 75 days in 2014. Once the study is complete the deterrent device will be removed and the cylindrical fish screen will be set back onto the diversion, allowing the volunteer landowner to continue with his farming operations.

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New Fish Screen Projects Identified - Phase 8 Sacramento-Central Valley Fish Screen Program


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Fish Friendly Agriculture

The Family Water Alliance, Inc. (FWA) Sacramento Valley Fish Screen Program (FSP) is very excited to have completed the first three fish screen projects under Phase 7 of the Sacramento Valley/Delta Fish Screen Program, which were the Sutter Mutual Water Company’s (SMWC) State Ranch Bend Pumping Plant, Sycamore Mutual Water Company’s Davis Ranches Site 2 and River Garden Farms Missouri Bend pumping station.

With the installation of the Sutter Mutual fish screen, which is sized to screen 154 cubic-feet-per second (CFS), it became the largest fish screen system installed under the FWA fish screen program to-date, second only to the Reclamation District No. 999 screen, which is 100 CFS.

FWA staff and directors, along with our program partners, the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Dept. of Fish and Game, and MBK Engineers, watched as the massive fish screens for the SMWC State Ranch Bend diversion were lifted by crane off of a flat-bed semi-truck and carefully placed upon the system.

Upon completion of the three 2010 fish screen projects, the FSP has successfully screen 27 diversions located throughout the Valley, cumulatively screened 787.9 CFS of California waters and helped to protect over 27,787 acres of productive agricultural lands.

Phase 7, Stage 2 Construction projects will continue with biological assessments throughout their irrigation season, and upon completion of diverting are tentatively scheduled to be screened in early fall of this year. Stage 3 Construction sites will start their first year of assessments this spring with tentative installation taking place in the fall of 2012.

FWA and our program partners have worked very long and hard to get this program up and running, so to see these projects go online makes our efforts very rewarding and closer to our goal of assuring fish friendly agriculture continues throughout the Sacramento and Central Valley of California.

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Outreach and Education Activities - 2011

The FWA Sacramento Valley Fish Screen Program (FSP) staff has been very busy in the last three months preparing our attendance at several venues to promote not only our proactive approach to assisting farmers and keeping agriculture viable throughout California, but also the importance and economic benefits of protecting our valuable fishery resources.

FWA hosted the 3rd Annual “Ag Perspectives” forum held during the 3-day Colusa County Farm Show. and also manned a booth at the 44th Annual World Ag Expo held every year in Tulare, California. FWA was busy handing out fish screen program materials and answering questions on endangered fish, with the emphasis being the Delta smelt.
Our outreach and education activities not only focus on adults, but FWA believes that educating our youths about the importance of fish and farming is a vital part of our activities.

On April 1st, FWA attended the Farm Day in Colusa with over 200 school age children attending the one day event. FWA was very pleased to give each child a special bag filled with “Farmers Feed America” rulers and stickers, “Fish Friendly Ag” pencils, and educational coloring books.

As you can see, our commitment to education is at all levels of our rural communities and we look forward to doing these kind of activities throughout the life of our program.

Sacramento-Central Valley Fish Screen Program Updates
New! Sacramento Valley Fish Screen Program DVD
Sacramento Valley Fish Screen Program Updates


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