EFID, Dee Irrigation present fish project results

The Hood River Watershed Group will host presentations by Doug Hart with the Dee Irrigation District and John Buckley with the East Fork Irrigation District on their latest water conservation projects.

The presentations will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at the Parkdale Fire Station, 4895 Baseline Drive in Parkdale.

For more information, call Cindy Thieman at 541-386-6063 or visit hoodriverswcd.org.

The DID Piping and Fish Passage Project cost just over $2.3 million and was funded by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and DID. The project converted the 4.5-mile-long Dee Flat Ditch from an open canal to a pipeline, which resulted in 3 cfs (cubic feet per second) of conserved water converted to an in-stream water right for the West Fork Hood River.

Fish passage was also restored at four tributary diversions along the former irrigation ditch, plus installation of a Farmers Conservation Alliance fish screen on Camp Creek. The West Fork Hood River provides habitat for threatened populations of summer steelhead, spring chinook and coho salmon.

The EFID Headgate and Fish Passage project upgraded EFID’s diversion on the East Fork Hood River from a push-up dam to an Obermeyer weir. The former push-up dam reduced upstream passage to 20 miles of the East Fork Hood River and required annual disturbance of the streambed with heavy machinery to maintain the old diversion.

The new weir works by raising metal plates during the irrigation season with inflatable bladders. The height of dam, and thus the amount of water diverted, can be adjusted throughout the summer to respond to changing demand. A fish ladder was also constructed on the east side of the river to provide passage around the weir when the dam is raised.

This $1.75 million project was funded by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, U.S. Forest Service Title II dollars, and EFID. The East Fork Hood River provides spawning and rearing habitat for threatened populations of winter steelhead and coho.

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