The proposal would provide a fish ladder at an impassable irrigation diversion dam on Big Creek, a tributary of the Yakama River and install screens at the intakes for the ditches. The proposal is so brief, that it is difficult to evaluate. The proposal notes that Big Creek is on Washington's "Waldo" list, but does not describe how high the ranking (i.e., the priority need for the project). While the proposal did not provide adequate detail or justification to support a funding recommendation, there is reason to believe the project would yield positive results. There is high use of the creek below the dam by steelhead (listed) and chinook. They should consider potential impacts on native resident stocks if any are present above the culverts.
23024 - Hancock springs passage and habitat restoration, 23033 - Big Creek passage and screening, and 23045 - Gourlay Creek fish passage and habitat. All three projects involve removal of a barrier to passage plus upstream improvements (habitat restoration in two cases and the screening of irrigation ditches in the second.) All projects could provide useful information about the benefits of access to additional habitat (i.e.., whether survival rates improve as a result of this access), and about colonization patterns. 23040 (below) could also contribute to this effort.