FWA awarded grant for coned fish screen project

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Family Water Alliance, a Colusa-based non-profit, was awarded nearly $896,000 from Proposition 1, the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, to help deal with sediment from a sand and gravel bar that threatens the fish screen and pumping plant at Llano Seco/M&T Ranch, located on the east bank of the Sacramento River about 10 miles southwest of Chico.

The funding will allow FWA, which has screened over 40 pumping diversions throughout the Sacramento and Central valleys over the past two decades, to replace the existing fish screen with cone fish screens, which will allow the diversion to operate in high sediment depths, and meet state and federal fish screening criteria, said Ashley Indrieri, FWA Project Manager.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife selected the Llano Seco/M&T Ranch Cone Fish Screen project for Proposition 1 funding. The pumping plant not only provides water for agriculture, but also supports a network of private, state, and Federal lands dedicated to conserving habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife, state officials said.

“We are elated this project was selected for funding by CDFW,” Indrieri said, in a statement. “It is paramount to ensure that this diversion can operate and provide a reliable water supply to 15,000 acres of farmland and refuge land, including over 4,000 acres of wetland owned and managed by state and federal wildlife agencies.”

Les Heringer, M&T ranch manager, said they have worked for years to find a solution to the river sedimentation that threatens the diversion, and were thrilled to hear that the FWA project had been selected for funding.

FWA expects construction to commence in the fall of 2020 or early 2021.