Record Searchlight Image“Four or five Friday nights” of work has paid off for Briana Conners, who recently won $10,000 for her winning entry in a contest seeking proposals to get fish past tall dams like Shasta Dam. The Cincinnati woman was one of four people who won prize money for submitting proposals. While the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation sponsored the contest to solicit ideas for getting fish around tall dams, the agency is specifically interested in finding ways to get young endangered salmon around Shasta Dam. Conners said when she submitted her 12-page proposal, she wasn’t aware of the project to reintroduce winter-run chinook salmon to the McCloud River, which will entail getting the fish past Shasta Dam.

The 24-year-old chemical engineer said she got the idea to enter the contest while reading a book titled “Imagine,” which mentioned the Innocentive website where the contest was advertised. “I just figured I would give it a shot,” she said. She said she worked several Friday nights developing her idea.