FWA Completes the Locke Ranch Mokelumne River Project

The Sacramento-Central Valley Fish Screen Program completed their first fish screen project located on the Mokelumne River in San Joaquin County this fall for the Locke Ranch. The Locke Ranch diversion is located near the historic town of Lockeford in California.

The Locke Ranch owns and operates a vertical pump on the west bank of the Mokelumne River for agricultural purposes. The maximum pumping rate is 3,600 gallons-per-minute or 8.02 cubic-feet-per-second and was originally installed in 1924. The pump station draws water directly from the river. The Locke diversion was screened utilizing an Intake Screens, Inc. (ISI) cone screen and will be powered by the diesel engine that powers the pump.

This project will help to protect and restore the native anadromous fisheries along the lower Mokelumne River. Central Valley steelhead will benefit from screening this project and allowing irrigation practices to continue during critical periods of migration. Due to pulse flows and the fish migration during the fall installation, Locke Ranch installed a silt curtain and performed underwater sound monitoring during in-water activities and screen installation. This project will be monitored by ISI for a period of one-year to assure the system functions as designed.

Water users and fish populations continue to benefit from the FWA screening program. New screens continue to be installed yearly throughout the Sacramento-Central Valley protecting sensitive fish populations, California agriculture and our fragile fishing industry. Fish screen technology continues to advance, providing multiple screen options to meet challenging site conditions and provide better fish protection. The program obtains funds from a number of state, federal and private organizations to implement the screening program. The success of this program relies on water users who volunteer to work with FWA to install and operate fish screens on their diversions.

The Oswald Water District located near Yuba City on the Feather River was originally scheduled to be installed in 2016 as well, but due to delays in receiving all environmental permitting and compliance, the Oswald project will be installed in 2017. Funding for the Locke Ranch and Oswald Water District projects was provided by CVPIA Anadromous Fish Screen Program, administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) State Proposition 84, administered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.