Removal of irrigation diversion provides access to habitat for Steelhead salmon
Removal of irrigation diversion provides access to habitat for
With the concrete
barrier removed the journey up the river is made easier for the Salmonid
and Steelhead to reach their spawning grounds.
In the Cowiche Watershed near the City of Yakima in Yakima County
Concrete irrigation structure impeded the movement of salmonids into prime
spawning and rearing habitat in the upper reaches of the Cowiche Watershed.
Removal of the barrier provides the opportunity to access additional habitat and
will aid in the recovery process of the steelhead population in the Yakima River
watershed. Steelhead is on the threatened list for endangered species in the
South Central Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC&D), Bonneville
Power Administration, North Yakima Conservation District, Washington Department
of Fish and Wildlife, Yakama Nation and the landowner.
The Yakima River Watershed is in the process contributing to the restoration of
salmonid populations in the Columbia River system to a level which will provide
for tribal ceremonial purposes, commercial opportunities and sports fisheries.
Bonneville Power Administration fish and wildlife program and Washington State
Salmon Recovery Funding.
Cooperation among the partners noted resulted in the opportunity to take the
barrier removal and irrigation diversion screening issue in the basin onto
private lands. Previous efforts have been on publicly held structures and
properties while the need to work with private landowners in the watershed was
identified as necessary in order to develop fish access on the dozens of
tributaries in the watershed.
Concrete barrier was removed and replaced with in-stream rock structures to
allow for irrigation diversion purposes and the diversion was screened with an
approved screening system. Additional work is occurring on other inadequate
diversion points in Yakima and Kittitas Counties.
South Central Washington Resource
Conservation & Development Office, (509) 454-5743