U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to upgrade the fish collection facility at Fall Creek Dam. The enhancements would improve passage for Willamette River Chinook, steelhead, and other native fish. Scott Clemans is a Spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Portland. He says the proposed upgrades are designed to reduce the amount of contact with the fish.

Clemans: "Because physical handling means stress, and stress often results in fish dying before they are able to spawn."

Angela Kellner

Behind Cougar Dam on the reservoir is a new project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It’s a Portable Floating Fish Collector, or PFFC. It's about the size of a tennis court. It's moored in place, but can be moved around the body of water to find the sweet spot. After a two-year trial run, it will be disassembled, loaded onto trucks and taken to either Lookout Point or Detroit Reservoir.

Greg Taylor: "My name is Greg Taylor, I'm a fish biologist for the Corps of Engineers at the Willamette Valley project. We operate a number of fish facilities at the dams and then we've got this brand new facility that we're bringing on line here at Cougar Reservoir.

The long-term goal of this project is to get a sustainable run of wild Spring Chinook established above Cougar Dam. The Portable Floating Fish Collector that we're working with today captures juvenile fish in the reservoir so that we can transport them safely downstream.

Shortly after the dam went in place, they were evaluating whether they could establish a run of fish above the dam and it didn't work for a number of reasons. We had temperature issues associated with the dam. So the trap and haul and the downstream passage systems that we had just didn't work so at that time they made a decision to produce hatchery fish in mitigation for the old system that was in place. We've got fish listed on the Endangered Species Act. There's an emphasis on wild fish and wild fish production and so this project is really trying to move towards getting those wild fish reestablished above the dam.

It's sort of a stationary fish vacuum. We've got water being pulled into the throat and then fish go over this velocity barrier and then get caught in a little trap down there and then we'll be able to bring the fish up and then we process them and transport them downstream.

Karen Richards

What happens if a dam fails during normal summer conditions? What if a dam breaks when it’s flooding or snowing? To answer those questions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has updated its dam failure inundation maps.

The Corps created maps of failure scenarios for all 13 dams in the Willamette Valley. Their release last year drew hundreds of requests. The Corps is holding viewings for those citizens who expressed interest. Matt Craig is a Dam Safety Program Manager.

DredgingToday.com

Oregon's coastal ports are used for commercial and recreational purposes and are an integral part of the state's economy. Years of federal budget cuts have left the ports in need of maintenance and dredging.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is allocating $20-million in new funding for Oregon ports. Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio had lobbied for additional money for ports in his Southwest Oregon district, which he said are in dire need of dredging.