Cheney Free Press -

By Roger Harnack
Publisher 

Fish managers request notice before irrigation shutdown

State officials want to rescue fish trapped in canals

 

Last updated 9/26/2019 at 9:17am



SUNNYSIDE – State officials want farmers and ranchers to notify them before shutting off irrigation for the winter.

On Monday, state Department of Fish and Wildlife employees requested 2-4 weeks advance notice of irrigation shutdowns so they could “rescue fish” in irrigation canals.

"We are available to help people shut down their irrigation systems in a way that protects fish," agency Fish Screening Manager Danny Didricksen said. "We work with diking districts, irrigation districts, and individual farmers to rescue trapped fish and return them to their stream.

According to Didricksen, salmon, steelhead and other fish routinely enter irrigation canals and systems and become stranded when irrigation shuts down in the fall.

He said irrigators should slowly decrease irrigation flow and maintain a minimum flow of 50 inches, so officials can rescue trapped fish.

“We hope everyone who uses irrigation systems will take advantage of this free service."

 

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