This project involved developing, prototyping, and utilizing fish-friendly screens for the irrigation district to help provide long-term sustainability for the orchard industry in Hood River.
The project was planned to be accomplished in three phases: field testing of the screens, development and implementation of a business strategy to generate revenue from screen production, and using proceeds from the screen development to enhance sustainable agricultural practices in the Hood River Valley.
In 2011, the NMFS published new criteria for horizontal flat-plate fish screens, including the Farmers Screen. This new criteria allows Farmers Screen projects (in areas where anadromous fish are present) to move through the regulatory review process in a more streamlined manner as well as giving projects the ability to fall under a programmatic process when available.
- The Farmers Irrigation District developed low approach velocity, horizontal screens with no moving parts. These systems greatly reduce operation and maintenance costs compared to conventional fish screening devices.
- A prototype of the first screen technology, currently called the “overshot screen”, has demonstrated safe fish passage with no injuries. A full-scale installation of this screen has undergone testing on the Hood River.
- The second screen technology is an adaptation of the first and is currently called the “undershot screen”. The undershot screen will be tested for fish protection and hydraulic integrity.