Ground breaks on new fish passage project at Numana Dam

The Numana Dam
The Numana Dam(KOLO/Dan Pyke)
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 1:19 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe broke ground on a new fish passage project on Wednesday.

The project is designed to benefit the recovery of two federally listed species, the Lahontan cutthroat trout and the Cui-ui sucker in northern Nevada.

Nearly $8.3 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was awarded to the tribe to dismantle barriers to fish migration along the Truckee River at the dam. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says both species have been negatively impacted by water infrastructure and land use changes over the course of the last 100 years.

“The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe is excited to implement another project to reverse centuries of obstacles to fish spawning in the lower Truckee River,” said Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribal Chairman James Phoenix.  “This project will allow both the endangered Cui-ui and threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout, each of which is culturally and spiritually important to the members of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, to once again access their historic spawning areas on and upstream of the Tribe’s reservation.  On behalf of the Tribe, I want to sincerely thank our federal partners for helping to make this much-needed project a reality.”

The project will install a permanent roughened rock ramp at the dam that will open up 65 miles of habitat along the Truckee River for the Cui-ui, and for the migration of the Lahontan cutthroat trout.