Salt River Project crews are preparing to drain and perform maintenance on portions of two canals, and that means hundreds of white amur fish need to be corralled and moved.
“The utility’s smallest employees will be relocated during the annual Canal Dry-up starting Nov. 20,” SRP officials said in a release.
The fish are an important component in the management of the 131-mile canal system as they eat weeds and algae that clog and slow the flow of water, according to SRP.
The targeted canals will be emptied to make way for heavy equipment and necessary repairs to the system that delivers water for about 2.5 million Valley residents.
Portions of the Consolidated Canal and Eastern Canal on the southside of the Salt River will be drained from Nov. 20 to Dec. 20 for annual work from Stapley Drive to Broadway Road on the Consolidated Canal and from Guadalupe Road to Pecos Road on the Eastern Canal.
Crews will inspect the canals, remove silt, replace concrete lining and repair gates along a stretch of seven to eight miles in Mesa and Gilbert, officials said.
The portions of the canal that will be cleaned out will be closed to traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians, and signs will be posted where there will be increased construction traffic.
“Canal dry-ups allow SRP as well as other utilities and municipalities to perform construction and maintenance activities in and around the canals,” officials said in the release.
“SRP crews also will use the dry-up to examine the canals and underwater structures to look for evidence of invasive adult quagga mussels.”