Derby Dam Fish Screen Groundbreaking

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Earlier this week, officials from McMillen Jacobs Associates, Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA), US Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe broke ground on a $23.5 million fish-passage project to help Lahontan Cutthroat Trout navigate the Truckee River’s Derby Dam, located 20 miles east of Reno, NV.

McMillen Jacobs was retained by FCA to serve as the Owner’s Engineer to design the Derby Dam Horizontal Fish Screen and to provide support during construction. The Project will continue providing water to irrigation while returning threatened Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, a fish once thought to be extinct, safely back to the river. This Project will conclude decades of effort to provide fish passage around Derby Dam, so that fish could successfully move from Pyramid Lake to the lower Truckee River for spawning and back.

“This day is 100 years in the making,” said Jody Holzworth, deputy regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The fish screen will allow this iconic species to travel beyond Derby Dam, from Pyramid Lake to their spawning grounds, for the first time in more than a century.”

The project team consists of Project Manager, Vincent Autier; Principle-In-Charge and Fish Screen Expert, Mort McMillen; Design Lead and Civil Engineer, Kevin Jensen; Structural Engineer, Mark Merklein; Permitting Support, Greg Allington; Mechanical Engineer, Don Jarrett; and Electrical Engineer, Matt Lawson.

The project is scheduled to be completed Fall of 2020.

For more information on the significance of the Lahontan cutthroat trout and the project, click here for the article featured in the Seattle Times, and click here for a short video from KVTN Reno News.