Portions of the South Canal on the southside of the Salt River in Mesa are being drained for annual maintenance and construction and that required herding and relocating fish.
The work, which began earlier this week, will continue until Dec. 20 and stretch from Granite Reef Dam to the Val Vista Road crossing on the north side of Loop 202, Salt River Project officials said.
Crews will inspect the canals, remove silt, replace concrete lining and repair gates along a stretch of up to 8 miles in northeast Mesa.
Signs will be posted where there will be increased construction traffic, and portions of the canal will be closed to traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians, according to SRP.
During the fish relocation, crews used large nets to herd white amur fish, placed them into hauling tanks and delivered them to other portions of the canal system.
Weed-eating, white amur fish are used by SRP to control aquatic vegetation in its 131-mile Valley canal system, officials of the Tempe-base utility said.
Front loaders and other heavy equipment is being used to pull out tons of silt and dirt from the canal and haul it off in dump trucks throughout the dry-up project, allowing maintenance work to begin Saturday, Nov. 26, according to SRP.
Each fall and winter, SRP performs the work on a rotating 10-year schedule on portions of the canal system.