Since 1991, Family Water Alliance, Inc. (FWA) has been supporting efforts in salmon recovery and actively protecting our fishery resources through their Sacramento River Small Diversion Fish Screen Program. Through the development of the screen program, FWA has led a long-term proactive program to assist farmers with the screening of agricultural diversions to not only protect the fisheries, but to also protect their water rights and right to farm.
In March, on-site construction activities began at the Bella Vista Water District (BVWD) Wintu Pumping Plant’s fish screen project; the first installation to take place under the Sacramento-Central Valley Fish Screen Program.
Located on the Sacramento River in Redding, the District’s pumping plant is located a few hundred yards downstream of the Sundial Bridge and considered to be in prime, critical habitat for threatened and endangered fish species. The BVWD maintains an 85 cubic-feet-per-second (cfs) pumping plant that provides not only agricultural water throughout the area, but municipal and industrial (M&I) water as well. When the District signed up under the fish screening program they did in fact have a fish screen system, but it did not meet current state or federal criteria for anadromous fishes.
Intake Screens, Inc. from Freeport, California, (ISI) removed the existing system under a separate contract with the District, fabricated and installed the new site specific, self cleaning cylindrical fish screen system. The new screens installed by ISI are designed to maximize water intake for the diversion through a finely meshed wedgewire that prevents small fry, juvenile species from being entrained or basically “taken” into the pumping system.
The cylindrical screens are installed on a tracking system which allows the screens to be easily removed from the river during winter, high flow months or during months when the District does not need to utilize its river diversion. Most importantly the screen design will satisfy the criteria for anadromous salmonids set forth by the California Dept. of Fish and Game (June 19, 2000 rules) and the National Marine Fisheries Service fish screen criteria for self-cleaning allowing the District to continue diverting fish-friendly water.
David Coxey, Bella Vista General
Manager, said, “The newly installed fish-friendly screens allow the District to continue diverting water from the Sacramento River, providing reliable water service to its’ customers, while ensuring the protection of threatened and endangered species. The grant funding allowed the District to promptly proceed with this retrofit installation without creating a hardship on the District and its many customers.”
Funding for the BVWD fish screen project was provided through grant funding from the CVPIA Anadromous Fish Screen Program (AFSP), administered by the Bureau of Reclamation and the CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP), administered by the California Dept. of Fish and Game.
Throughout the project, FWA and BVWD worked closely with the project principals, who are specialists in their fields including the BVWD Staff, the AFSP Technical Team, Analytical Environmental Services, MBK Engineers, Inc. and Pace Engineering.
Also on hand for the opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was Congressman Wally Herger, who was a major influence in obtaining federal funds to assist with screening through the Small Diversion Fish Screen Program, which in turn helped to fund the Bella Vista screen project.
Ashley Indrieri, Chief Operations Officer for Family Water Alliance (FWA), took the opportunity at the event to present Congressman Herger with a Certificate of Recognition in appreciation of his support of Family Water Alliances’ mission, the fish screen program and his unwavering commitment to
Through the years, Congressman Herger has been a huge supporter and proponent of the fish screen program and FWA attending many fund-raising dinners in Maxwell to show his support. He is a true believer in California and its agricultural roots and FWA wishes Wally the best in his new endeavors.
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The Family Water Alliance, Inc. (FWA) Sacramento Valley Fish Screen Program (FSP) has successfully worked to secure grant funding to continue the screen program on diversions located throughout California.
Phase 8 of the FWA FSP is aptly named the Sacramento-Central Valley Fish Screen Program, and involves the installation of fish screens on various diversions on the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.
Projects under this grant will be sites that do not currently fit into the scope of work for Phase 7 of the FSP. The benefits to the fishery resources by screening multiple sites is extremely complimentary to current efforts to restore salmon populations in the California Central Valley and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
The work under this grant will occur with oversight by the Anadromous Fish Screen Program (AFSP), which is a U.S. Department of the Interior fish screening program jointly administered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Bureau of Reclamation, and the California Dept. of Fish and Game. Funding for the collective projects is a 50/50 cost share of State and Federal funding.
FWA along with our program partners, have been working closely to visit, rank and select project sites. Many have environmental issues or are considered high-priority for fisheries restoration and screening.
The following four sites have been identified and selected to-date: Bella Vista Water District Wintu Pumping Plant; Feather Water District North Diversion; Feather Water District South Diversion; and South Sutter Water District Pleasant Grove Canal diversion. FWA will be working to install at least two of the projects in the fall of 2011 or early 2012. The remaining projects are tentatively set to be installed by fall 2012.
FWA is eager to continue working towards assisting in the restoration of the fisheries resources, but more importantly protecting our state’s agricultural resources, diverters’ water rights, and our rural communities. FWA will continue to pursue funding to keep the Program going, so if you are interested in signing up your diversion in the fish screen program, please contact FWA at (530) 438-2026, firstname.lastname@example.org or online at http://www.fwafishforum.com.
The views and conclusions contained on this website are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not consititute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.