Dam fish recovery project could empty Detroit Lake for years

A big project to improve conditions for endangered fish could mean emptying Detroit Lake for a year or two.

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 10:58 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 11:52 AM

DETROIT, Ore. (AP) - A $100 million-plus project to improve conditions for endangered fish could mean emptying Detroit Lake for one or two years.

The Salem Statesman Journal reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to build a 300-foot (91-meter) tower and floating screen at Detroit Dam to improve water temperature and fish passage for salmon and steelhead in the North Santiam River.

But the $100 to $250 million project could impact water supply in Salem and Stayton, for farmland irrigation, and to the economies of Detroit and the Santiam Canyon from the loss of recreation at the popular reservoir.

The project aims to preserve native fish while maintaining the benefits of dams and reservoirs.

The project still needs to go through multiple planning phases before construction is scheduled for 2021.

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