Fish Haven Creek historically provided critical tributary spawning and rearing habitat for large, adfluvial BCT that moved upstream from Bear Lake. However, as in the case with most Bear Lake tributaries, irrigation diversions and water withdrawal have precluded upstream fish migrations in recent decades. During the summer of 2007 project partners teamed up with a developer on Fish Haven Creek to initiate an ambitious project to (1) return surface flow irrigation water to the creek, and (2) install fish screens and facilitate upstream passage at all five of the irrigation diversions on the creek. This project is being made possible by an agreement between the developer and the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources that will effectively ‘trade’ surface water rights for pumped water rights. The opportunity that this affords to reconnect a tributary of Bear Lake that has been almost completely dewatered for decades is unprecedented.
During the fall of 2007 we completed topographic surveys at the five irrigation diversion sites and began designs for fish screens and fish passage structures. We will install rock weir structures at three of the five diversions to raise the water surface and facilitate upstream fish passage for adfluvial BCT. Based on our preliminary alternatives analysis we have determined that we will install flat plate screens where the site conditions allow on three of the diversion canals, and rotary drum screens on the remaining two canals where that design is better suited. Construction is scheduled for fall of 2008.