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.