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Start of Field Flooding

Event Date:  December 3, 2018

Purpose: Starting water to flood the field sites for the 2018-19 Salmon Project.

Mike DeWit, Grower/Water Manager, placing specialized stakes in the fields that will enable him to precisely manage water depth in the range of 12” to 18” which is what is needed to provide suitable salmon habitat in a rice field.

Mike DeWit, adjusting the special screwgate that will maintain desired outflow from the rice field and facilitate passage of the salmon out of the field once they are ready to leave and start their journey towards the Pacific Ocean.

Special field drainage canal where the outmigrating salmon will swim from the rice field to the Tule Canal in route towards the Sacramento River.

The preferred vehicle of choice for a winter water manager is the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). The heavy clays soils in California rice country can make travel with regular trucks difficult during the wet season. ATV’s are the way to go and are much more fun!

Here’s how the Water Manager monitors flooding in the fields to make sure they are maintained at a minimum depth to provide good habitat for the salmon.

This special drain, called a screwgate, will enable good control of water flow out of the field and will enable the fish to exit the field.

A good look at the drainage channel the salmon will use to swim from the field to the Tule canal as they make their way to the Sacramento River.

This is how we get around the fields to do this salmon habitat work in the muddy rice farm conditions during the winter season.

Our Water Manager showcasing all of the management activities necessary to precisely manage a winter-flooded rice field as suitable salmon habitat.

Mike DeWit, Grower/Water Manager, brings his ATV to the field site on a trailer to start his day’s work to manage field flooding for the fish project.