News Releases

Corps proposes no drawdown for Detroit Lake selective withdrawal structure

Published May 24, 2019
Detroit Dam

Detroit Dam

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement today, which identifies the preferred alternative for construction of the selective withdrawal structure at Detroit Dam.

The preferred alternative calls for the Corps to continue to operate the dam normally, and build “in the wet,” meaning construction would happen underwater, which eliminates the need to "drawdown” water levels in Detroit Lake below normal operations.

“The NEPA process works,” said Jeff Ament, project manager. “When we started scoping a year and a half ago, we hadn’t realized all the impacts to downstream water users.”

The analysis revealed that a two-year drawdown would have over $200 million in regional economic impacts, which lead the Corps to the recommendation.

 “The previous scoping period allowed the public to voice their concerns – we listened and incorporated their input into the analysis that went into the draft EIS,” said Kelly Janes, environmental resource specialist.

“I believe this project has demonstrated the value of the National Environmental Policy Act and public input in developing the preferred alternative.”

The draft EIS, which also evaluates alternative for providing downstream fish passage at Detroit Dam, is available for public review and comment for the next 60 days, ending July 23.

Comments may be submitted electronically by e-mail to or mailed to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Attn: PM-E, Kelly Janes
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946.

Additionally, the Corps is hosting three public meetings for the public to learn more about the outcomes of the draft EIS, ask questions, and submit comments.

May 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Gates Fire Hall

June 4, 5:30pm-7:30pm

ODFW Headquarters Commissioners Room

June 6, 5:30pm-7:30pm

Stayton Community Center


The overall objective of the Detroit Downstream Fish Passage Project is to enhance downstream passage for populations of Upper Willamette River spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in accordance with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2008 Willamette Valley Project Biological Opinion. The draft EIS assesses alternatives for meeting this objective including each alternatives’ impacts on the physical, biological, cultural, and socioeconomic environment. The draft EIS presents the Corps’ preferred project alternative.

The Corps will review and incorporate public input before finalizing and issuing the final EIS in spring 2020.

These public meetings focus only on the Detroit Downstream Fish Passage Project. Please visit our website to learn more about other ongoing concurrent studies in the Willamette Valley and related engagement opportunities.

The report is available for download on the Detroit Downstream Fish Passage Project website at

Lauren Bennett

Release no. 19-011

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