Our Willamette Valley Project dams provide tremendous flood risk management, power generation, water quality improvement, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation benefits to the region.
However, they also block access to significant amounts of high-quality fish spawning and rearing habitat, and prevent movement of sediment and large wood. They have also degraded downstream habitat by altering seasonal flows and water temperature patterns that are important for fish. Hatchery fish produced to mitigate the loss of their wild cousins have also had a negative effect on the genetic diversity and productivity of wild fish in the basin.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed Oregon chub as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, and bull trout as threatened in 1999. The National Marine Fisheries Service listed Upper Willamette River spring Chinook and Upper Willamette River winter steelhead as threatened species in 1999.