A Canal head gates opened
The irrigation season gushed open Monday as Klamath Irrigation District officials opened the ACanal head gates.
At 85 cubic feet per second, the middle two of the six gates at the Link River Dam opened about 3-inches to begin the two week process of filling the districtís canal system, said Dave Solem, KID manager.
Solem said the demand at the beginning of the season hasnít been very high compared to other years and the opening was about a week later than usual.
Some crops, such as onions and new seedings of alfalfa, will be some of the first demanding water, but Solem said heís hoping other irrigators will stagger orders so thereís not a huge rush at the end of the month.
Completing the process
KID is aiming to complete the filling process ó which begins with the 9-mile A-Canal and moves out to the root-like system of smaller canals and diversions channels ó by April 22.
Irrigation in the Klamath Project will last until around the middle of October.
Solem and three other employees remotely monitor the head gates from the KID office in order to react to any hiccups in the system. Basically, someone is on call around the clock.
After construction and placement of the elaborate $14 million fish screen and bypass system in late 2002, the actual head gates sit several hundred feet down river of the original head gates built in early 1900s. The newer system is highly computerized and complicated, Solem says, but works well.
At present, f ish that get through the screen at the top of the system are going into a canal and are dumped out below the Link River Dam. Later, as smaller fish come through, the diversion will be set to pump the fish into the Fish Evaluation Station at the same site.