Weber River Diversion Rebuild
This project prevents native Bonneville cutthroat trout, wild brown trout, and other fish species from being caught and killed in two large, irrigation diversions. When completed, the project will also allow upstream passage for trout and a native fish called a Bluehead sucker that can live for up to 30 years.
The project involves two principal tactics: (1) working cooperatively with two irrigation companies, and (2) designing and refining over time fish screens and a fish ladder that work despite dramatic changes in flow and generally low quality water that contains a lot of algae and other debris.
With the fish screens in place, the project has already saved hundreds, and likely thousands, of migrating cutthroat and brown trout which can now remain instream to support a high value and high use urban fishery near the town of Ogden, Utah. The project has allowed us to build and strengthen partnerships with large water users in the area. Those relationships have, in turn, helped us partner with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to save the fishery downstream not once, but twice, when upstream releases failed to account for all users and the river threatened to run dry below this large diversion at the mouth of Weber Canyon.
Paul Burnett, Weber River project manager