Chiloquin and Savage Rapids Dam Removal Projects

Chiloquin Dam Dam Removal

Chiloquin Dam on Sprigue River(Squeduled for removal in 2008), and Savage Rapids Dam on Rogue River(Squeduled for removal in 2009).

During the class I have learned that several dams are getting in the way for the fish migration up the river. The fish ladders that have been built already have been inadequate due to the fact that many fish species are not able to get up river to spawn.By removing these dams the fish migration would greatly improve and the several species of fish that have been put on the endangered list would be able to come up the river and spawn. Native Americans have been behind this decision because a specific type of sucker fish have been used in their ceremonies for thousands of years.

Chiloquin Dam

Chiloquin Dam is located near the City of Chiloquin in Klamath County, south-central Oregon, approximately 30 miles north of Klamath Falls.  This 21’ high, 220’ long structure is positioned at River Mile (RM) 0.87 on the Sprague River, a short distance upstream of the confluence with the Williamson River.  Approximately 10 miles downstream of their confluence, the Williamson and Sprague rivers empty into Upper Klamath Lake, contributing nearly half of the lake's total annual water supply (NANFA 2004).  In this context, the Chiloquin Dam is positioned to substantially influence ongoing restoration activities aimed to improve sucker fitness and survival in Upper Klamath Lake. 

Savage Dam

Constructed in 1921, the Savage Rapids Dam is scheduled to be removed in 2008 after decades of debate over the barrier it presents to migrating salmon in the Rogue River.  The Grants Pass Irrigation District plans to remove the 39’ high, 456’ long dam in stages, releasing the 200,000 cubic yards of sediment currently stored behind the impoundment (USBR 2001).  This approximately $13 million investment (Heinz 2002) of public funds is a significant and historical effort to meet both fish passage and water diversion needs. 

Dam Removal Could Help Tribes

The endangered Lost River and short-nose sucker fish in Oregon's Klamath Basin may get some relief because, now that the Modoc Point Irrigation District has voted to remove the Chiloquin dam and re-establish access tp spawning habitat on the Sprague River, a tributary of the Klamath. The Interior Department will foot the $15-to-$16 million bill to take out the dam and replace it replace it with irrigation pumps. PacifiCorp continues to drag its feet when it comes to removing its four hydro power dams on the Lower Klamath: It want to sit back and just truck the salmon around the dams.