Something's fishy in the Coachella Canal

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					                                  Coachella Valley Water District
                                     Post Office Box 1058 • Coachella • California • 92236
               Telephone: (760) 398-2651 • Fax: (760) 398-3711 • Email: • Website:

 Board of Directors
 Peter Nelson, President                                                                  News Release
 Patricia “Corky” A. Larson, Vice President                                                                          Contacts
 John “Jack” W. McFadden                                                           Dennis Mahr,, Ext. 2352
 Tellis Codekas                                                                   Jack Porrelli,, Ext. 2355
 Russell Kitahara                                                               Heather Boling,, Ext. 2353
 Administration                                                                                        News Release Archives
 Steve Robbins, General Manager-Chief Engineer                                   

    Dec. 13, 2006

                        Something’s fishy in the Coachella Canal

    It’s not often you get to spend a work day fishing, but that was the fun assignment for a dozen Coachella
Valley Water District (CVWD) employees tasked with moving thousands of fish from the soon-to-be
abandoned section of canal to the adjacent, newly lined section.
    With construction of the new 35-mile section of Coachella Canal now complete, water is set to be drained
from the old section. But first, CVWD had to decide what to do with the numerous fish living in the old section,
including what workers call some of the largest bass and catfish they’ve ever seen. One catfish was estimated to
weigh a whopping 60 pounds. These industrious fish travel all the way from the Colorado River into the All-
American Canal and through the turnout to the Coachella Canal where they join grass-eating carp, purposely
placed into the canal to control aquatic vegetation.
    Several options were considered before it was decided (with approval from the Department of Fish and
Game) that crews would scoop up the fish by hand and net and move them into the new canal. Several
truckloads of fish, including channel and flathead catfish estimated in the 20-pound range and largemouth bass,
have been taken to Lake Cahuilla. This, is in addition to the regularly stocked trout at the man-made lake,
should pose an exciting challenge for the valley’s fishermen.
    It’s been a smelly, but enjoyable job for workers. The relocation started about two weeks ago and, much to
their disappointment is expected to be finished by today.