Congrats to the Rogue Regulars! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Congrats to the Rogue Regulars!

11-26-2003, 04:19 PM
Heard removal of the Savage Rapids dam on the Rogue has been approved. Very cool!


Robert Meiser
11-26-2003, 08:25 PM
Yep that is a biggy !

And huge kudos should be given to the persistent efforts of a broard range of regional anglers, water rights groups, and local angling clubs for always keeping this issue alive and kicking, and in the faces of both national and state politicos.

I and my family settled into the Rogue valley over 20 years ago, and the Savage Rapids dam was a very heated issue even then.

It's been a real up and down battle to compromise a solution that would meet the needs of not only the ag water users, but the property owners fronting the Savage Rapids pool...And certainly the anadromous fish that were hindered, and often times threatened by this barrier.

It appears that all concerned are now in the same playing field, and funds have been approved to remove this barrier, and install an efficient pumping system to disperse waters to allocated users.

NOW onto the next Rogue River dilemma....The Elk Creek dam !

In brief... Elk Creek was slated to be the middle dam of a three dam system designed by the Army Corps of Engineers to provide power, irrigation water, and flood control for the Upper Rogue drainage system.

The first dam being Lost creek, which now contains the main stem of the Rogue, the second which was to contain Elk Creek, and a third dam, which now contains the Applegate river.

Although Lost Creek, and the Appelgate dams were completed, the Elk Creek dam was started, but was stopped while in progress for reasons that still remain hard to comprehend.

The bottom line is that Elk Creek now has an unfinished dam that contains no water, and is presently an absolutly insurmountable barrier to all anadromous fish that historically spawned in the Elk Creek drainage....A worst case sceneiro in all respects...

Court challanges halted further construction of the Elk Creek dam 15 years ago.

The entire "dam" project is now in stasus on all government levels, and has become burried in court challanges creating a total stalemate as to how to deal with this problem.

Various options have been suggested:

1. Remove the dam entirely.

2. The Corps of Engineers wants to"Notch" the existing spillway to allow unimpeded fish passage, but Congress has ordered that the Corps eschew the notch, leaving the current structure in place so it may one day be finished.

3. Complete the dam as originally planned, contain Elk Creek, and supply a fish ladder.

What is presently being done to acommodate fish passage over this barrier is interesting !

The Oregon Dept. of Fish and Game... Ordered by the Corps Of Engineers, directed by Congress... Presently supplies option number four: A fella by the name of Jim Brown.

In short, what Jim does on a daily basis throughout the Nad spawning season is to hand net all migrating gamefish one at a time as they enter an antiquated holding pen brood trap built at the base of the spillway nearly 25 years ago.

The netted fish are seperated as either Wild or hatchery, and hand placed in a tank truck, and hauled up-river above the half-finished dam. They are then hand released to continue their journey.

This year alone as of mid November, Jim has individually netted 1,381 Coho, 1,256 Steelhead, and 31 Chinook... All wild fish that are transported via tank truck to various locations above the dam.

An epic individual acheivment on Jim's part...

What the Corps now suggests is that this entire transportation process be fully automated.

The Corps states: "This will be a totally automated water-to-water transfer with no handling of fish, this facility is going to be as high tech as possible." They go on to say: " The new trap will feature electronic capturing and corralling of Salmon, sorting by eye and not by hand, and transfering by tank truck without the fish ever leaving the water."

Again another remarkable... Albeit technical acheivment.

...But somehow it's logic still seems to be fading into the grey within the big picture.

This problem has proven to be a very tuff nut to crack when approached from a grass roots process, as the powers that direct this dilemma are huge, and spokespersons that represent them change with each administration.... Like trying to pick up a piece of mercury.

Nobody knows what the hell to do with this one, except compromise with elaborate, short term bandages.

Anybody got Heyduke's E-mail Address !?


11-26-2003, 08:30 PM
Great news! But let's not forget there's a HUGE difference between approval for dam removal and actually getting them to carry it through in action. Does anyone know the status of the Elwah dam(s) removal project in Washington?

11-26-2003, 09:20 PM
RE: the Elwha dams.

The last info I saw was the first one was to have the Glines Canyon Dam be breached in 2007 with the lower dam getting breached in either 2009 or 2010. Perhaps OC can find out if this is the time-table and give us an update in the Environment section.


Don't you just love it when the Army Corps of Engineers is involved with a project? I honestly don't think they ever saw a dam they didn't llke or a river they did not want to dam. What you describe is a truly sad state of affairs.

11-27-2003, 12:04 AM
Hmmm,,boy,well,mmm,lemesee,uhh,,,,O K,,,,, if they put the old fish ladders from savage rapids damn' in at elk creek dam they'd have proven ,,,water to water,, fish ladders,also with the growth of the valley,the water available from winter rains, runoff, is going to be needed in the very near future,FINISH THE DAM<build fish ladders that work,the issue is fry ,not upriver fish,that's a proven',check the fish counts on elk crk. since before the Elk Crk Dam,they have gone up ,way up,up over savage!, an article in the paper told the tale a couple years back,,,,many dynamics at work here,,,,,so with all respect to those concerned,, hmmm,,,uh,,anybody working on the gold rey issue??????that is an antiquated setup if i've ever seen one,,:tsk_tsk:

12-01-2003, 12:14 AM
There is an info session at REI about the Elwaha removal project on Dec 9th, 2003. Call Save Our Wild Salmon or REI for more info.

2007 is the date for Glines.

Presented by: Brian Winter, PhD, Elwha Project Manager, Olympic National Park

DATE: Tuesday, December 9, 2003
PLACE: REI Seattle Store (222 Yale, Seattle, 2nd Floor)
TIME: 6:45- 8:30 p.m.

The two dams on the Olympic Peninsula's Elwha River are scheduled for removal in 2007.

Historically, the Elwha supported all anadromous species of Pacific Northwest salmonids and was home to very large Chinook salmon (up to 100 pounds).

Elwha Dam was completed in 1915. It is located just five miles from the river's mouth, and without fish passage facilities it blocks all anadromous fish runs. Glines Canyon Dam was completed in 1927, eight miles upstream and also without fish passage.

Removing both dams and allowing the ecosystem to restore would open up over 70 miles of largely pristine salmon habitat.

85% of the Elwha river drainage area is located in the Olympic National Park. Unblocking the Elwha River is a unique opportunity to restore an ecosystem from the mountains to the sea. If successful, this project may set an example for dam removal as a tool for restoring endangered salmon runs.

Brian Winter has been the Elwha Project Manager for the Olympic National Park since 1993, and has a PhD in Fisheries from the University of Washington. He will discuss the history of the Elwha dam removal project, its current planning status, and the future restoration of the river, ecosystem and fishery in the Elwha watershed.

This is truly a unique and special project.

Northwest Women Flyfishers is hosting this special program regarding the Elwha Dam Removal Project.

stay off my rivers.