The original Gold Ray Dam log crib structure was built in 1903/04, followed in 1939/40 by the concrete dam. The existing fish ladders were built in 1940 when the concrete dam was constructed. Modifications/upgrades to the fish ladder and counting station were made in 1940 and 1968.
Fish counts during the 1942 – 1968 period were conducted from an outside viewing platform, with fish being identified and counted as they passed over a “flash board” (bright aluminum plate) on the bottom of the fish ladder. This early counting station was subject to high water damage, and frequently had to be removed during the winter. It was reportedly lost to high water about once/year. The existing fish trap, holding pond, and viewing chamber with two 5’x 5’ windows were built in the fall of 1968. Since 1968, fish counts have been conducted from inside the chamber.
From 1968 – 1992, fish counts were conducted on a 40-hr/week sub-sample schedule by personnel inside the counting chamber. Fish count data from the five 8-hr shifts were extrapolated to arrive at a 7-day fish passage estimate.
In October, 1992, video-recording of fish passage began on a 24x7 basis. Initially, tapes were sent to the Roseburg ODF&W office for review along with Winchester Dam tapes. Beginning in April, 1993, a position was established in the Central Point office for maintenance of the counting chamber and review of the tapes. Video counts on a 24x7 basis have continued since then.