Fish-friendly irrigation screens to help Yakima River salmon

BENTON CITY — Pierre Saget of Benton City and seven of his neighbors are getting new fish screens for their irrigation intakes on the Yakima River with help from Benton Conservation District and a $42,000 grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

The new stainless steel screens meet new standards set by the National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure that juvenile salmon will not be sucked into private irrigation systems, said Marcella Appel, a water resources specialist with the Benton Conservation District.

Appel said the fish-friendly screens are required because the Yakima River provides habitat for spring and fall chinook as well as steelhead, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

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