Portland District

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Mid-Columbia River projects

Color relief map of the Columbia River Gorge and surrounding areaThe Portland District operates three locks and four dams in the Columbia River basin. Each dam contributes to a water resource management system that provides flood risk management, power generation, water quality improvement, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation on the Columbia River and some of its tributaries.

 

There are many developed recreation sites along the Columbia River. Activities available at each area vary, but may include: camping, picnicking, boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, hunting, hiking, biking, equestrian use and wildlife viewing.

Bonneville Lock & Dam

Bonneville Lock and Dam

Bonneville Lock & Dam, built and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was the first federal lock and dam on the Columbia and Snake rivers. The project’s first powerhouse, spillway and original navigation lock were completed in 1938 to improve navigation on Columbia River and provide hydropower to the Pacific Northwest. A second powerhouse was completed in 1981, and a larger navigation lock in 1993. 

Today, the project is a critical part of the water resource management system that provides flood risk management, power generation, water quality improvement, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation along the Columbia River.

A Public Works Administration project of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, portions of Bonneville Lock and Dam Project were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

Link to larger version of map

link to District map showing Bonneville's relative location

The Dalles Lock & Dam

The Dalles Lock and Dam

Built and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Dalles Lock and Dam is one of the ten largest hydropower dams in the United States. Since its completion in 1957, it has provided the Pacific Northwest with a reliable water source for hydropower, navigation, recreation, fish passage, irrigation, and flood mitigation. The dam is 192 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River and two miles east of the city of The Dalles, Ore.

Since its construction, the dam has generated more than 9.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and passed up to 10 million tons of river cargo annually. 

The project consists of a concrete structure with a navigation lock, spillway, gated powerhouse and fish passage facilities. Various recreational facilities are provided along Lake Celilo, the 24-mile-long impoundment behind the dam.

John Day Lock & Dam

John Day Lock and Dam

John Day Lock & Dam is located 216 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River near the city of Rufus, Ore.

Dedicated in 1968, construction of John Day Lock & Dam was completed in 1971. The project, which consists of a navigation lock, spillway, powerhouse and fish passage facilities, is authorized for navigation and hydroelectric power generation. Various recreational facilities are provided along Lake Umatilla and the John Day River.

Willow Creek Dam

Willow Creek Dam from downstream

Willow Creek Dam is located in Morrow County, Oregon, directly upstream from the town of Heppner, and about 45 miles south of Hermiston.

Willow Creek Dam was completed in 1983. It is the first major dam in the United States constructed using the roller-compacted concrete technique. The dam is 169 feet high and 1,780 feet long, and was constructed with 403,000 cubic yards of concrete. The reservoir is able to store 9,765 acre-feet of water.

The Portland District operates the project for flood control and irrigation with incidental benefits for recreation, sportfishing, and wildlife.