WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Work to create a low-flow fish channel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ section of the Mill Creek channel will begin today, Friday, July 13.
TML Construction of Hayden, Idaho, will be staging their equipment in the horse trailer parking and turn-around area just east of the Mill Creek Project office. The trailer parking area will be closed from July 13 through Sept. 15. Visitors with horse trailers are encouraged to park at the Bennington Lake parking lot if they plan to ride horses on Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake lands during this period.
The Mill Creek low-flow channel is being constructed to improve fish passage for ESA-listed fish species (steelhead and bull trout). The low-flow channel will be built by removing a section of a concrete weir that runs perpendicular to the Mill Creek channel and replacing that section with a concrete notch. The notch will allow water and fish to pass more freely during the summer when the water is lower. The Corps will be notching three weirs as a test during 2012.
Work will be limited to the in-water work window, a time period when it has been determined that these ESA-listed fish in Mill Creek are least likely to be effected, July 15 to Sept. 15 of each year.
Last year, Walla Walla County and Tri-State Steelheaders installed a number of notches in weirs on the county’s section of the Mill Creek channel, four of which can be seen at the Tausick Way bridge over Mill Creek.
For more information about this project or for general information about Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake, call the Mill Creek office 527-7160 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/millcreekdam.
Release no. 12-071