WSID Fish Screen Project

Update Status: Significantly revised 3/4/2016

Project Lead: West Stanislaus Irrigation District

Potential Project Partners:
Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

Short Project Description:
This project will help support the West Stanislaus Irrigation District (WSID) Fish Screen Project, which will significantly improve site-specific and regional flood management resilience as well as ecosystem enhancement. Funding would contribute to the required 50% non-federal cost-share for construction of WSID’s preferred alternative fish screen project.

Long Project Description:
The WSID Fish Screen Project (Project) is a state and federal agency priority, and has been included in numerous published conservation and enhancement and restoration plans. These include:

  1. Department of Fish and Game. 1990. Central Valley Salmon and Steelhead Restoration and Enhancement Plan (page 107);
  2. USFWS. 1995. Working Paper on restoration needs and habitat restoration actions to double natural production of anadromous fish in the Central Valley of California. Volumes 1-3. May 9, 1995. (page 3-Xd-43 and 3-Xd-50-51;
  3. USFWS. 2001. Final Restoration Plan for the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program. Adopted January 9, 2001. (page 82);
  4. numerous publications of the CalFed Ecosystem Restoration Program that document the project priorities and progress of this major state/federal/private conservation effort; and
  5. support documents from state and federal agencies responsible for protecting and restoring listed (federal and /or state) fish such as steelhead, and other native fish of concern such as splittail, unique lamprey, white sturgeon, and others that exist in the San Joaquin Basin. Finally, the USFWS management plans and objectives for the San Joaquin River National Wildlife Refuge would be facilitated as a result of planning, permitting, and constructing this proposed Project.

The following is a specific description of the facility and funding requirements:

Facility Description: The preferred alternative includes a new fish screen located at the mouth of the inlet of the intake canal, a low-lift pump station, and approximately 1,400 feet of pipeline from the low lift pump station to the existing Corps levee. The Project also includes an embankment to reestablish the levee and replace the old Corps gate structure across the intake canal. From the Corps levee, conveyance will be in the old intake canal to Pump Station 1A.  There are two drainage crossings along the intake canal to convey water between the refuge tracts separated by the canal. These crossings will also serve as wildlife crossings.

Funding: The District will need to secure additional non-federal cost-share funding contributions to complete the construction of the new fish screen and associated infrastructure. The current cost estimate to construct a new fish screen is estimated to be in the range of $14M-$18M. The federal agencies (USBR) require a 50% non-federal cost-share commitment. The District believes that there will be significant benefits to nearby (proposed) flood management and ecosystem restoration projects. Hence, this RFMP Project proposes a significant cost share contribution (to be determined) to help match a 50% federal cost share commitment to the WSID Fish Screen Project.

Unique Project Characteristics:

Completion of this proposed Project, in conjunction with several proposed non-structural flood control projects, would reduce operations and maintenance costs and improve efficiency in flood management/maintenance activities would occur over the short- and long-term in this central portion of the Region. Successful planning, permitting, and construction of this proposed Project would also increase institutional and local support for several non-structural flood control projects proposed by the USFWS and River Partners in this central portion of river within the Mid-SJR RFMP planning area.

Project Status Planning, design, and permitting
Project Cost $18,000,000
Project Timeframe 1-5 years
Cost-sharing WSID, CDFW and BR/FWS have thus far invested more than $3.5 M in preliminary planning, advanced planning, design and the permitting of this Intake/Fish Screen Project. The preliminary estimates for construction costs range from $25‐30M. This cost estimate is not unlike many other fish screens built throughout the Pacific Northwest. CDFW has made clear that the State needs to obtain cost‐share partner in the construction phase, as have the BR/FWS representatives. WSID has continued to participate as a significant cost-share partner in each phase of the project, and has agreed to the long term maintenance and operations costs to operate the new fish screen once completed. In the interim, they continue to operate and maintain their current intake on the SJR just upstream of the Tuolumne River confluence.
Multi-benefit Project Yes
Types of benefits The project would improve flood risk management as the diversion would be relocated to a more readily protected location. The WSID diversion would be consolidated with other existing diversions, reducing the number of locations that would be exposed to fl
Source of Project West Stanislaus Irrigation District


Background Information:
There are reports and other materials available through the West Stanislaus Irrigation District.