EFID nears completion of fish ladder and weir

East Fork Irrigation District is in the process of building a new fish ladder and weir near Tollbridge Park.

A wide array of partners have helped EFID with technical assistance and construction funding, including the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board ($403,360), Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs ($1,675,000) and the Hood River Watershed Group (grant writing and technical assistance).

Since the dramatic February 1996 flood that swept down the Hood River valley, East Fork Irrigation District has been challenged with maintaining and operating its push-up dam and irrigation diversion above Tollbridge Park, near the town of Mount Hood. The near-record flows changed configuration of the upstream channel, making the stream channel less passable for the basin’s critical steelhead and salmon populations.

Local partners got active in 2005 to help EFID assess conditions at the site and begin designing a new diversion structure that would operate more efficiently and provide better fish passage. The partnership, consisting of East Fork Irrigation District, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Hood River Watershed Group, worked with various agencies to examine alternative diversion designs and accomplish preliminary engineering.

Funding for the engineering and construction design was provided by the Hood River County Title II program and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The final design includes a pneumatically operated Obermeyer Weir to replace the existing rock push-up dam. The weir will lie flat against the channel bottom during off-irrigation periods to allow natural river flows.

During the spring and summer, the weir plate will be remotely raised and lowered by inflatable rubber bladders, allowing the diversion amounts to be adjusted for water demand. The design also includes a fish ladder to provide passage around the diversion when it is raised.

Construction of the project is being done by Crestline Construction, based in The Dalles. The company began preparing the site in early June and then started constructing the fish ladder.

EFID General Manager John Buckley said, “This project has been years in coming for EFID and Mt. Hood Irrigation District, and with the help of all our partners, we expect to see benefits for both fish and farming by complying with current fish passage requirements, increasing regulatory certainty, and improving our operational efficiency.” Buckley anticipates the project will be done by fall 2013.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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