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FWA New Fish Screen Project

Family Water Alliance Awarded Grant for Llano Seco / M & T Ranch Project

Chico, CA  – The Llano Seco / M & T Ranch Cone Fish Screen project was selected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for Proposition 1 funding.  The funding was awarded to Family Water Alliance (FWA) who has screened over 40 diversions throughout the Sacramento and Central Valley over the past two decades.

For years sediment deposition has posed a threat to the operation of the fish screen at the Llano Seco/ M & T Ranch diversion. An encroaching gravel bar migrates at an unpredictable rate to the vicinity of the fish screened diversion. This project will replace the existing fish screen with cone fish screens and will allow the diversion to operate in higher sediment depths and meet state and federal fish screening criteria.

“We are elated this project was selected for funding by CDFW.  It is paramount to ensure that this diversion can operate and provide a reliable water supply to 15,000 acres of farmland and refuge land, including over 4,000 acres of wetland owned and managed by state and federal wildlife agencies,”  said Ashley Indrieri, FWA Project Manager.

This project is located just downstream of the confluence of Big Chico Creek and the Sacramento River, on the east bank of the Sacramento River just south of the Bidwell State Park near the City of Chico.

“We appreciate the fact that the Llano Seco Rancho and M&T Ranch Sacramento River Pumping Plant Cone Screen Project was selected for Prop 1 grant funding. We have worked very hard for years seeking a solution to river sedimentation. This will insure that 4,000 acres of public and private wetlands on Llano Seco Rancho will not go without winter water for migratory waterfowl and M&T Ranch and Llano Seco Rancho, two major contributors to the economic well-being of Butte and Glenn Counties will continue to have water to run their farming operations,” said Les Heringer, M&T Ranch Manager.

“We are thrilled to hear this project has been selected.  The pumping plant not only provides water for agriculture, but also supports a network of private, state, and Federal lands dedicated to conserving habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife.  We have a successful collaborative relationship with our partners Rancho Llano Seco and M & T Ranch; we are thrilled to have an interim solution to assure our partners and the refuge have a reliable supply of water for agriculture and conservation”, said Curtis McCasland, USFWS Project Leader, Sacramento NWRC.

The total grant awarded was $895,701.  Construction is anticipated in the fall of 2020 or 2021.

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