WDFW Asking Farmers For Irrigation Shutoff Notification

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking farmers and other irrigators to contact them before shutting down irrigation systems for the season.  WDFW said the notification allows staff to rescue fish form irrigation canals and return them to nearby streams.  The Department says it’s common fish to move about between irrigation canals and nearby streams.

 

However, WDFW said one the water is shutoff when the irrigation seaseon comes to an end, fish are traped in canals that dry up, leaving chinook salmon, steelhead, and other fish species stranded.

 

“We are available to help people shut down their irrigation systems in a way that protects fish,” said Danny Didricksen, WDFW fish screening manager. “We work with diking districts, irrigation districts, and individual farmers to rescue trapped fish and return them to their stream. We hope everyone who uses irrigation systems will take advantage of this free service.”

 

In addition to contacting WDFW before irrigation shut down, WDFW encourages people to slowly decrease diversion flows over several days to urge fish to migrate out of the irrigation system and back to the stream on their own.  The WDFW is also asking farmers to contact them two to four weeks before water is shutoff for the season.

 

In addition to contacting WDFW before irrigation shut down, WDFW encourages people to slowly decrease diversion flows over several days to urge fish to migrate out of the irrigation system and back to the stream on their own.

 

Visit the WDFW’s Website for more information on irrigation diversions and fish protection.

 

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