Redlands Fish Screen Contract Will Assist With Endangered Fish Recovery On The Gunnison River

Media Contact: Brent Uilenberg, 970-248-0641
Justyn Hock, 970-248-0625

For Release: August 27, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $5 million contract for the construction of a fish screen in the Redlands Power Canal, below the Redlands Diversion Dam on the Gunnison River near Grand Junction, Colo. The screen will prevent both endangered and native fish from entering the canal and being injured or killed in the canal system.

"We are committed to balancing the needs of both fish and water users. Modifications like this can make a positive difference," said Reclamation Commissioner John Keys. "This fish screen will assist in the success and longevity of both the Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker, and we fully expect the recovery of both endangered species."

The contract was awarded to Kissner G.C. Inc., of Cedaredge, Colo. Construction will begin in late September, with the major construction for the V-type fish screen beginning after November 1, 2004, when irrigation diversions are no longer needed. Major portions of the work will be completed by April 1, 2005, to allow for spring canal operation. Construction will be completed by July 29, 2005.

Redlands Power Canal is used year-round to generate hydroelectric power from water received from the Gunnison River . During construction, hydropower generation will be temporarily interrupted by construction dewatering and will result in loss of hydropower revenues for about four months. The irrigation season lasts approximately six months, from April 15 to October 15. Construction will be limited to before and after the irrigation season to avoid impacting deliveries and to take advantage of low river flows.

Reclamation is constructing the fish screen on behalf of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fishes Recovery Program. The Recovery Program is an interagency partnership created to recover the endangered Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub, and bonytail. Construction of the fish screen is an important aspect of the Recovery Program because it prevents endangered and native fish from becoming trapped in the canal.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.