SALEM, Ore — A concrete diversion dam on th South Fork Klaskanine River in Clatsop County is being replaced with a newer technique that uses rocks in various formations to allow fish passage and water diversion.
This style of diversion reduces impacts to fish, fish migration, natural stream functions, boaters and other types of stream uses, while also requiring significantly less maintenance by the water user. In addition, a state of the art fish screen designed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife was installed at this location. This project will benefit chum salmon, chinook, steelhead and cutthroat trout.
“This diversion technique has the potential to become more widely used as a solution for fish passage issues at other diversions in the state,” said ODFW Assistant Fish and Wildlife Biologist Troy Laws.
By using a combination of boulders, logs and root wads, the new technique reduces streambank erosion, enhances fish habitat, maintains river stability, helps withstand large floods, maintains channel capacity and is compatible with natural channel design. The stream stabilization also serves to maintain a fixed point of diversion in an otherwise fluid stream.
“We are very excited about how this project will not only benefit fish but also the river channel, the surrounding environment, the water user, as well as users of the river,” said Laws.
The dam is owned by the Clatsop County and used for fish rearing purposes. The restored stream channel and rock diversion structure design was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and federal program involvement and regulatory compliance was coordinated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program.
"This project was a great example of collaboration between local government, the people and businesses in the local community, and state and federal agencies and programs,” said Oregon Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program Coordinator Amy Horstman.
The project is a cooperative effort among the Clatsop County, United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, NOAA/ American Rivers, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce and Weyerhaeuser Corporation.
In addition, local sources made contributions to make this project a success. They are the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Clatsop County, Bergerson Construction, Astoria Builders Supply, Hampton Logging, Ed Fisher Construction, Englund Marine Supply, Longview Fiber, Big River Excavation and Weyerhaeuser Corp.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.