2006 Update Idaho Screen Program
Present Status • Most major river corridors have been treated by diversion consolidations, ditch eliminations, passage improvements, water conservation, and screening. • After a three year BPA funding cycle of being restricted to only installing screens and fish passage, we are returning to a tributary wide treatment approach. • Moratorium on new water rights was lifted.
Tributary Focus • Spawning streams for wild steelhead • Spawning streams for Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout • Anadromous juvenile rearing streams • Provide late summer thermal refuge • Vital life component for fluvial trout • Provide flushing flows downstream
Monitoring & Evaluation • Stream Surveys • PIT Tag Interrogations • Weir operations • Redd counts
Recent Evaluations • 30+ Stream Surveys. • Alaska Steeppass ladder evaluation on the SChaC-08/8A diversion. • PIT tag interrogators on lower Lemhi River fish screen bypasses. • Hydraulic and fisheries evaluations on every newly deployed structure. • Limited evaluation of the Gooby Bubbler screen using rainbow fry.
R & D Program • Twin rotating cylinder solar powered screen with a four inch bottle brush cleaner. Attaches directly to a pipeline. • Paddlewheel operated horizontal traveling belt screen. • Double bay concrete paddlewheel driven point of diversion wiper screen. • Additional paddlewheel design work involving dimensional analysis.
FRIMA Work • Mahala Ditch project near McCall, Idaho. • Two rotary drum screens in the Bear River drainage in Southeast, Idaho. • Currently working on a Panther Creek ditch consolidation project with the local Model Watershed program.
Squaw CreekScreens and Passage • Installed fish screens on all six diversions. • Improved fish passage at two diversions. • Eliminated problems with wolves and researchers.
Concerns • IDWR enforcement of water rights. • Federal land management agency action response times. • Cost share availability for Federal funding. • High cost to conserve water. • Absentee landowners. • Subdivided lands & multiple irrigators.
Outlook • Conservation groups such as Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Tetons, and Trout Unlimited are energizing locals in SE Idaho to participate in fisheries projects. • Growing group that believe “Any screen is better than no screen.” • Farm Bill grows larger each year and has more funding for conservation including fish screens. • Cabela’s in Boise. Demographics are changing. More interest in conservation.