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Fish Passage Improvement Program (FPIP)

Sutter Bypass - East Borrow Canal

photo of weir 2


Weir No. 2 is located along the East Borrow Canal (EBC) of the Sutter Bypass, in Sutter County, and is owned and operated by DWR. The concrete piers create twelve bays containing wooden flashboards that are used to control the upstream water elevation, and a pool and weir fish ladder with a capacity of 13 cfs is located at the right abutment. The Weir No. 2 structure has been in place for more than 50 years and wear and deterioration has taken a toll on the structure to the point that maintaining a normal upstream operating stage for diversions and a fish ladder may not be possible during low-flow periods. Replacement of Weir No. 2 is necessary due to this deterioration and the excessive leakage of the structure. The existing weir is also an operational hazard because it relies on flashboards that are manually placed and removed from a narrow walkway, which exposes personnel to possible injury with every flow adjustment.

Weir No. 2 Project

A new weir structure and fish ladder will be constructed to facilitate passage of adult and juvenile salmon and steelhead past the structure over a greater range of flows. FPIP staff prepared a preliminary engineering technical report (18 MB) in 2003 and a mitigated negative declaration and initial study for the project in 2008.

The Sutter Bypass East Borrow Canal Water Control Structures Project proposes to remove the existing weir and fish ladder and replace them with new structures that are more effective and safer to operate. Approximately 100 ft downstream of the existing weir, DWR will construct a new weir that has the same dimensions as the existing weir, and a new fish ladder on the bank opposite the existing fish ladder. The new weir will have three main channels, which utilize remotely operated inflatable Obermeyer gates to control water levels upstream in the EBC, and six side bays controlled by manually removable flashboards. The new fish ladder will be a full Ice Harbor design which will operate within a wider range of flows. This design was chosen after an analysis of conditions and needs at the site by DWR, Department of Fish and Game, and NOAA Fisheries staff and after receiving input from other agencies and stakeholders. FPIP has obtained environmental permits and approvals for the project.

Construction began in 2011 and the new weir and fish ladder are expected to be completed in 2012.

photo of weir 2

This project falls within the Sutter Bypass Ecological Management Unit. According to CALFED, fish passage problems in the Sutter Bypass should be resolved where possible. Providing fish passage improvements at Weir No. 2 will assist Bay-Delta agencies in meeting Milestones 67 and 71.

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