Fulton Division Dam Fish Passage Renovation Project
This project removed a fish passage impediment on the Chewuch River through improvements to the Fulton Ditch Company diversion. Work included installation of a headgate control, improvement of the existing dam, and construction of a new fish passage channel.
Description: This project is located on the Chewuch River, a tributary of the
Methow River, and targeted Chinook salmon, summer steelhead, and bull
trout - species that are listed as "endangered" or "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Key partners in this project included the Fulton Ditch Company, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Okanogan County PUD Douglas County PUD, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).
Objectives of the Fulton project were to provide improved fish passage at the diversion dam while preserving access to adequate water to maintain irrigation rights.
The project replaced the small, inadequate fish ladder with an innovative structure that allows fish to pass anywhere across the width of the channel. To accomplish this, the existing dam was removed, followed by construction of a roughened channel ramp, creating a more natural form to mimic river conditions with a gradual drop for easier fish passage and lower velocity resting areas for fish. In addition to benefiting fish, the project also benefited the Fulton Ditch Company, whose new diversion requires less maintenance and improves conditions for fish without any loss of irrigation water.
Funding statue: Funding approved through BPA and Salmon Recovery
Video: Salmon play above the new Fulton Dam
Before renovation, the Fulton Diversion prevented summer Chinook salmon from migrating up the Chewuch River to spawn. With the improved diversion, summer Chinook can now swim through the fish passage channel and spawn upstream of the Fulton Dam.