News Releases

The Corps begins refill at Detroit Dam during spillway gate construction

Published Jan. 7, 2020
Detroit Dam

Detroit Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District will begin refilling Detroit Dam reservoir up to an elevation of 1450 feet from now through Jan. 31.

The Corps will continue spillway gate rehabilitation work on two of Detroit Dam’s spillway gates while refill begins. This first phase of spillway gate work at Detroit began in November 2019 and is expected to be complete in March.

On Feb. 1, the Corps will resume the typical refill schedule for all 13 Willamette Valley Project dams, including Detroit Dam. The refill process generally begins every February with reservoir elevations following the rule curve, or the authorized maximum water elevation on a given day. This rule curve sets guidelines for flood risk management and balancing project benefits. The refill season typically ends in May to support and sustain reservoir levels throughout the spring and summer months.

The Detroit Dam reservoir is currently at 1430 feet. Access to the Mongold boat ramp will be restored when the reservoir elevation increases to 1450 feet.

The Corps will work on two gates per year over the next two years to complete work on all six spillway gates to restore full structural capabilities and improved reliability. The anticipated project completion date is February 2022. During these time frames, the road running across Detroit Dam will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians. The parking lot area at the top of the dam and restroom will also be closed. 

The public can view current reservoir levels for all Corps dams in the Willamette Basin at Hover over each dam to view the reservoir elevations and water inflow and outflow. Click on a dam to open a pdf with additional details, including boat ramp accessibility status.

For questions about parks and recreation, call the Oregon State Parks manager at 503-480-9858.


Willamette Valley Project: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates 13 dams in the Willamette Valley for flood risk management and other authorized purposes, which vary for each dam but include power generation, irrigation, navigation, water quality improvement, water supply, fish and wildlife, and recreation. Since their completion, the dams have cumulatively prevented over $25 billion in flood damages. More information about the Willamette Valley Project can be viewed at

Lauren Bennett

Release no. 20-001

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