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Ecological Projects >> Truckee River >> Marble Bluff Fishway

Project:  Marble Bluff Fishway

Client:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Reno, NV

Date:  Project completed March 2010

Site Location:  The Marble Bluff Fishway extends from Pyramid Lake to just above the Marble Bluff Dam on the Lower Truckee River, approximately 50 miles northeast of Reno, NV.

Construction on the Marble Bluff Fishway, February 2010.
Construction on the Marble Bluff Fishway, February 2010.
Project Summary:
The Marble Bluff Dam was constructed in 1975 to slow erosion along the Lower Truckee River. A fish-lock (elevator) was added to carry native species such as Cui-ui (Chasmistes cujus) and Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) over the dam during spawning season, and a clay-lined fishway was installed from Pyramid Lake to just above the dam to allow for fish passage during years when insufficient flows prevent fish from reaching the fish elevator. During 2010, the water level in the lake and river channel were exceptionally low and the fishway was in need of repairs; OBEC re-designed and constructed the lower portion of the fishway as a naturalized meandering channel with riffles and pools, and added a tilting weir to prevent fish from entering the channel at times when FWS biologists were not on hand to monitor spawning activity.

Project Update:
During the 2010 spawning season, 403,000 Cui-ui passed through the new Marble Bluff Fishway channel – up from 8,000 in 2009.

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