Information on this page is generalized for broader public understanding and does not explain every nuance in each injunction measure.

Willamette Teacup Diagrams

Visit Willamette Valley “teacup” diagrams for real-time reservoir levels. Each smaller “teacup” includes observed inflow, precipitation levels and its specific rule curve. The diagrams also show releases from dams for the past seven and 30 days:

Willamette Valley Project Injunction

On September 1, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued an interim injunction that requires the Corps to undertake specified actions to improve fish passage and water quality at several Willamette Valley Project dams for the benefit of Upper Willamette River (UWR) spring Chinook salmon and UWR winter steelhead salmon, both of which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Corps is working in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bonneville Power Administration, and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to implement the injunction measures, some of which began in fall 2021.

The interim injunction describes the specific measures and is available on this page. Some of the injunction measures necessitate additional refinement by a panel appointed by the Court. Future court-ordered implementation plans for those measures will be posted to this page as they become available. The Corps will also post the results of research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) associated with the injunction measures on this page as they become available.

Interim Injunction and Implementation Plans

September 1, 2021 Interim Injunction - PDF link:

  • Foster Dam Fall Spill Operation Implementation Plan (Injunction Measure 13(a)) - PDF link
  • Cougar Reservoir Fall Drawdown Implementation Plan (Injunction Measure 14) - PDF link

September 21, 2021 - PDF link:

  • Order on Detroit Dam Temperature Management Operation and Implementation Plan (Injunction Measure 10(a)) - PDF link

November 2, 2021 - PDF link:

  • Foster Spring Spill Implementation Plan (Injunction Measure 13(b)) - PDF Link
  • Cougar Delayed Refill Implementation Plan (Injunction Measure 15)  - PDF Link
  • Fall Creek Delayed Refill Implementation Plan (Injunction Measure 19 & 20)  - PDF Link

Operational Measures

North Santiam River Sub-basin

  • Carry out fish passage and water quality operations at Detroit and Big Cliff reservoirs as detailed in the Corps’ Interim Measure Nos. 5-7. (Injunction Measure 10)
    • Once the elevation of Detroit Reservoir is less than 100 feet over the turbine intakes during the fall drawdown and winter months, generally only operate the turbines at Detroit Dam during the day and prioritize a non-turbine outlet to pass flow at night (from dusk until dawn), generally with no turbine operation during that time. (Interim Measure 5)
    • When the Corps is operating the spillway at Big Cliff Dam, operate multiple spillway gates to spread total flow across the spillway. (Interim Measure 6)
    • Through strategic use of the spillway, turbines, and regulating outlets at Detroit Dam, provide downstream fish passage in the spring and water temperature management throughout late spring and summer at Detroit and Big Cliff dams (right). (Interim Measure 7)
    • Draft Detroit Reservoir to elevation 1,465 feet or less by October 15, 2021 and then use Detroit Dam’s lower regulating outlets for temperature control purposes. (Injunction Measure 10(a))

South Santiam River Sub-basin

  • After outplanting of adult UWR Chinook salmon above Green Peter Dam begins, carry out a spring fish-passage operation at Green Peter Dam that prioritizes volitional fish passage through non-turbine routes. (Injunction Measure 12(a))
  • After outplanting of adult UWR Chinook salmon above Green Peter Dam begins, carry out a fall fish-passage operation at Green Peter Dam that prioritizes volitional fish passage through non-turbine routes. (Injunction Measure 12(b))
  • Draw down Foster Reservoir to elevation 620-625 feet by October 1 and operate the Foster Dam spillway, with limited turbine operation, from one hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise from October 1 through December 15. (Injunction Measure 13(a))
  • Hold Foster Reservoir at minimum conservation pool (elevation 613 feet) and operate the Foster Dam spillway, with limited turbine operation, from one hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise from February 1 through May 15. Beginning May 16, refill Foster Reservoir, targeting full pool by Memorial Day Weekend, and operate the Foster Dam spillway, with limited turbine operation, from one hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise until June 15. Beginning June 16 through mid- to late-July, operate the Foster fish weir for downstream water temperature management. (Injunction Measure 13(b))

McKenzie River Sub-basin

  • Conduct a fall drawdown of Cougar Reservoir to a target elevation of 1,505 feet by November 15 until December 15 and generally use the regulating outlets exclusively during that time to pass flow. (Injunction Measure 14)
  • On December 16, initiate the refill of Cougar Reservoir to minimum conservation pool (elevation 1,532 feet) and hold until March 1. On March 1, begin drafting Cougar Reservoir to reach elevation 1,520 feet by April 1. Using adaptive management to determine the refill starting date, delay the refill of Cougar Reservoir from elevation 1,520 feet as long as possible while maintaining a high likelihood of reaching elevation 1,571 feet by July 1 to enable use of the water temperature control tower in late summer and fall. From December 16 through June 1, prioritize the regulating outlets at night to pass flows. In September, transition to the fall drawdown operation. (Injunction Measure 15)

Middle Fork Willamette River Sub-basin

  • Implement regulating outlet spill operations daily from 6-10 p.m. at Hills Creek Dam once the reservoir elevation is 50 feet or less above the regulating outlets in the fall through March 1. (Injunction Measure 8/Corps Interim Measure 20)
  • Conduct spring spill operations at Lookout Point Dam and Dexter Dam that prioritizes use of the spillway to the maximum extent practicable and limits turbine use to the amount necessary to manage water temperatures and TDG levels. (Injunction Measure 17(a))
  • Conduct the annual Fall Creek Reservoir deep drawdown operation similar to prior years but extend the dates from December 1 through January 15. (Injunction Measure 19)
  • On January 16, begin the refill of Fall Creek Reservoir to elevation 700 feet and hold at that elevation through March 15. On March 16, initiate the refill to reach elevation 728 feet by April 15 and maintain that elevation through May 15 unless additional refill is necessary to ensure operation of the Fall Creek Adult Fish Collection Facility through September 30. After May 15, refill the reservoir to the extent possible. (Injunction Measure 20)

Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Results

The Corps is carrying out Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E) to assess the effects of the injunction measures on UWR Chinook salmon and UWR steelhead. **The results of RM&E associated with the injunction measures will be posted here as they become available.**

One of the RM&E methods being used is screw traps:

Screw traps (above) are rudimentary tools that give Corps biologists basic data about the fish and the Corps will use them for the next couple years. The data is partially influenced by other factors, including traps only spans a small portion of any water body and they are designed to primarily capture smaller fish that cannot swim out of the device. Click here to learn more.