Derby Dam Horizontal Fish Screen

Sparks, Nevada

Award of Merit

OWNER: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Farmers Conservation Alliance

LEAD DESIGN FIRM: McMillen Jacobs Associates

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Granite Construction Inc.


The historic Derby Dam diverts water into the Truckee River that would otherwise flow into Pyramid Lake. However, that diversion led to the near extinction of the endangered native Lahontan cutthroat trout in the lake. This project helped to rebuild that ecosystem by installing a fish screen adjacent to the dam that will keep the trout in the river and out of an irrigation canal that serves the Truckee Carson Irrigation District.

To ensure timely delivery in October 2020, the team devised a number of innovative solutions, including installation of two temporary structures—a bridge spanning the Truckee River to the project site and a concrete coffer dam so that the work area would be completely dry and the canal could continue to provide irrigation water to downstream users.