In theory, the Farmers Screen was born 1996 when the Farmers Irrigation District (FID) of Hood River, Oregon lost its irrigation infrastructure due to a severe flood event on the Hood River. Left without a way to deliver water to their farmers or generate revenue with their hydroelectricity plants, and seeking a solution to the problems they had with their previous fish screens, FID staff began brainstorming ways to restore their district.
Intrigued by the concept of horizontal fish screens, the irrigation district went to state agencies, nonprofits, and tribes and asked for their support in developing a new type of fish screen. After ten years of research and testing, FID created the Farmers Screen, a self-cleaning, horizontal screen that protects fish and manages debris.
Then, in 2006, another irrigation district in the Hood River Valley experienced a similar catastrophic flood and debris slide on their Eliot Creek diversion in the upper Hood River Valley. The Middle Fork Irrigation District (MFID), located south of FID with diversions at higher elevations on the north slope of Mt. Hood, also struggles with sediment management and screening for their irrigation water system and hydroelectric power plants. The MFID replaced their destroyed penstock, head gate and fish screen with a dual Farmers Screen in 2007 and later, in 2009, installed their second Farmers Screen on their nearby Coe Creek intake. Click to view complete project information and galleries of the Eliot Creek Farmers Screen and the Coe Creek Farmers Screen.
Here are a few pictures of the BEFORE pictures, of the 2006 flood and debris field landslide event: