Fish screening

Irrigation diversions are an important component of agriculture in the Blackfoot valley, but without careful design, they can seriously impact and in some cases totally eliminate trout spawning within a tributary.

BBCTU has upgraded 26 diversions on key tributaries with new gear that increases efficiency of water usage, eliminates fish entrapment, and reduces landowner labor in maintaining the diversion.

A variety of devices have been deployed depending on the specifics of the site.  Here's some examples of our work:

Blackfoot River Fish Screen

Ashby Creek, Potomac:  A 3-foot wood barrier had been used to divert creek water to a gravity fed center pivot.  BBCTU replaced this with a Coanda screen, eliminating this barrier to spawning fish passage while providing a more dependable underground gravity-based pressure line to the rancher's irrigation pivots lower in the valley.

                 Original wood barrier                              The new Coanda screen

Snowbank Creek, Lincoln:  Another Coanda screen now provides stabilized in-stream flows while providing diverted water for Snowbank Lake, a popular fishing pond for Lincoln locals.

North Fork of the Blackfoot, Ovando:  Prior to installing upgraded head gates like this one with a triple-drum fish screen, irrigation ditches on the North Fork were the single largest cause of endangered bull trout loss in the entire watershed.
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