Long Creek Fish Screen, Sycan Marsh Preserve
Project Lead: Trout Unlimited
Location of Project: 42.828903, -121.179501
Description of Project:
Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are partnering to reduce the risk of entrainment to Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and Redband Trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss newberryi) in Long Creek on the Sycan Marsh Preserve. A large diversion along lower Long Creek provides irrigation water via Small’s Ditch to the Sycan Marsh Preserve and adjacent private properties. The approximate diversion rate is 13.4 cubic feet per second. The diversion is currently unscreened, and bull trout and redband trout occupy the portion of Long Creek immediately upstream from the diversion site. The Long Creek population of Bull Trout is the only remaining population of Bull Trout in the Sycan River Core Area, and eliminating the risk of entrainment is listed as an important recovery metric in the Klamath Recovery Unit Implementation Plan for Bull Trout.The removal of the four dams on the Klamath River is expected to open this habitat to andromous steelhead and chinook salmon and ODFW is planning to stock hatchery-produced chinook into Agency Lake as soon as 2023. This diversion threatens safe passage of through risk of entrainment for migratory bull trout, redband trout, and future chinook salmon and steelhead through lower Long Creek and the Sycan River, which is unoccupied bull trout chritical habitat. Restoration and safe passage for these migratory population is critical for the persistence and resilience of the species. The diversion site is located on the Sycan Marsh Preserve and is easily accessible from the Forest Service 27 Road. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife engineers will lead the design phase of the project, in close conjunction with the project team and the private landowners who use water from the Small’s Ditch. The ODFW Central Point Screen Shop will then fabricate and install the screen. We expect the fish screen to be installed during the 2023 or 2024 instream work window. Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will partner to complete and acquire all permitting and compliance necessary for project implementation. The funding from the National Fish Habitat Partnership will be used for fabrication and installation of the fish screen.