An $8 million project will help the recovery of two fish species near Pyramid Lake
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe broke ground on a new fish passage at Numana Dam on Sept. 13.
Built in 1917, the dam is an irrigation diversion structure that provides irrigation water to tribal farmers and ranchers.
The passage will open 65 miles of habitat along the Truckee River to help the migration of the Lahontan cutthroat trout and Cui-ui sucker. The fish have been negatively impacted by water infrastructure and land use changes over the last century. They are also listed as federally threatened and endangered species, respectively, in northern Nevada.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe refer to themselves as the Cui-ui Tucutta in their Native language, which means “the Cui-ui eaters.”
Tribal Chairman James Phoenix said the $8.3 million project will have economic and cultural impacts.
“We rely on tourism and fishing. We got a lot of anglers that are coming in seasonally. It’s really big for us. The Cui-ui is historical, it is part of our existence. It signifies us as Newe people.”
Funding for the project came from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was passed in 2021.