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Concurrent Sessions C: Fish Screening at Water Diversions II - Fish Passage and Screening on Whychus Creek in Central Oregon

A three year collaborative design process involving USFS, NOAA/NMFS, ODFW, DEQ, USFWS, Three Sisters Irrigation District, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, River Design Group, Anderson Perry and Associates, and Farmers Conservation Alliance created a project on Whychus Creek in central Oregon that includes in-stream fish passage, floodplain reconnection, and a low maintenance Farmers Screen. The project was fully operational for the 2011 irrigation season. Three Sisters Irrigation District (TSID) diverts up to 160 CFS from Whychus Creek, a tributary to the Deschutes River. TSID has historically diverted water using a stream spanning low head dam and did not have a fish screen in place. The diversion is located on US Forest Service land in the National Forest where a re-introduction of summer Steelhead is occurring. The project goals included in-stream fish passage at the dam, reconnection of the flood plain, and installation of a fish screen capable of protecting fish while reliably supplying irrigation water through a wide range of stream flows and diverted flows in a system with high levels of glacial silt. The 160 CFS maximum capacity fish screen is the largest Farmers Screen installed to date. The screen is a dual bay design which allows for a very wide range of diverted flows (30 to 160 CFS) while still meeting NMFS criteria. The TSID Farmers Screen has built in sediment management which allows continuous flushing of sediment from under the screen during the high sediment times of the year. The TSID Whychus Creek project is a great example of meeting the needs of both the agricultural community and the environment.