Fish Loaded into SRP Canals: Crews Stock Thousands of White Amur Fish to Clear Canals of Vegetation
Crews from Salt River Project stocked the canals this week with thousands of white amur fish trucked in from a fish farm in Arkansas. The deliveries brought in about 12,000 fish that will soon be doing their job of helping to keep the canals clean and operating efficiently.
SRP is responsible for keeping its 131-mile canal system in operating condition to ensure reliable water deliveries to about 2.5 million Valley residents.
In 1989, SRP launched the White Amur Fish Program. These hearty aquatic animals – SRP’s smallest employees – eat the weeds and algae that build up in the canals, consuming up to three-quarters of their body weight daily.
The first delivery in 1989 consisted of about 1,800 fish placed in the canal. Today, about 44,000 fish keep Arizona’s canals healthy.
Weeds and algae pose a constant challenge to the SRP canal system as they can clog the canals and slow the flow of water. In the past, SRP controlled weed growth with costly and labor-intensive methods, such as scraping canal beds with heavy chains to uproot plants, scooping out vegetation with backhoes or applying herbicides.
The White Amur Fish Program has been a success and saves SRP hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual operating costs while also promoting innovative and environmentally friendly water management practices.
Canal Quick Facts:
· Enjoy the canals safely
· Keep a safe distance from the edges of the canals.
· No swimming or water activities are allowed in the canals for safety reasons.
· Make sure to teach children about canal safety.
· Never jump in to rescue pets or objects such as toys. Call 911 for help.
· While fishing is allowed on canals, it is illegal to remove the white amur.
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SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 750,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.