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The Helix: Collaborative Approach, Revolutionary Design

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Published on Jul 15, 2015

Anadromous fish passage at reservoirs in the Yakima River Basin has been a major hurdle for fish returning to upper basin habitat and a challenge for tribal leaders, water managers, and area residents who are trying to restore healthy fish runs. Today, a team of researchers, engineers and biologists, have developed a unique and innovative approach to outgoing juvenile fish passage. It's called the Helix, a unique and efficient design that allows juvenile fish to leave Cle Elum reservoir earlier than ever before.

Moreover, the Helix can weather the effects of climate change in two ways: by adjusting to varying reservoir levels and giving fish safe harbor to cooler habitat above the reservoir. The design is a collaborative achievement among the Yakama Nation fish managers and a diverse group of scientists, water managers and irrigators in collaboration with the Bureau of Reclamation and Washington State Department of Ecololgy. Also, it meets the needs of the Yakima basin community.

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