Event Date: November 20, 2018
Purpose: To do all the field work necessary to prepare the rice fields to be fish-friendly and to clean out the drainage channel leading out of the fields to provide good water flow for the salmon as they are headed towards the Tule Canal.
Pictures of a pattern of ditches cut into the fields to provide extra depth to provide temperature and predator refuge for the fish and also provide them with channel of flow to help the young salmon to move out of the field towards the Tule Canal and, ultimately, the Sacramento River.
A critical feature of this project is “volitional passage” from the winter flooded rice field to the Sacramento River. The young salmon will swim out through a concrete outflow box with a large plastic pipe on the back end. Once through the pipe, the fish will slow swiftly down to the Tule Canal in route to the Sacramento River. Here are pictures of the outflow box, channel and the Tule Canal along. Also included is a video of the Jesse Clark, another heavy equipment operator for the project, carefully preparing the channel for fish passage. He was really focused on making sure the young salmon will have successful passage from the rice field to the Tule Canal.
This is the outflow pipe from the rice fields into the drainage channel that cleaned out as part of field preparation activities.
This is the main screw gate (also called a “rice box”) that will manage the outflow of water and salmon heading out through the short pipe and then through the short drainage channel to the Tule Canal. Note that the trenches in the field intentionally lead to this screw gate for effective movement of salmon towards this exit point.