News Releases

Fish hatchery power problems continue, likely impacting more brood years

Portland District
Published Feb. 4, 2022
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff crowd juvenile steelhead towards a collection area to load them on a truck and transport for release, March 2021, at Cole M. Rivers Hatchery. 

Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only effect one brood year.
The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff crowd juvenile steelhead towards a collection area to load them on a truck and transport for release, March 2021, at Cole M. Rivers Hatchery. Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only effect one brood year. The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

The public can view the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery raceways from an overhead viewing area, March 3, 2020. 

Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only effect one brood year.
The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

The public can view the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery raceways from an overhead viewing area, March 3, 2020. Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only effect one brood year. The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

Chinook salmon eggs for brood year 2021 sit in an incubation at the hatch house at Cole M. Rivers Hatchery, November 2, 2021.

Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only effect one brood year.
The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

Chinook salmon eggs for brood year 2021 sit in an incubation at the hatch house at Cole M. Rivers Hatchery, November 2, 2021. Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only effect one brood year. The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

Army engineers and biologists expect power problems at Cole M. Rivers hatchery, in southern Oregon, to impact at least one additional brood year of fish. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) officials had earlier hoped the power failure to only affect one brood year.

The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April 2021. Corps staff initially attempted multiple repairs to the line, but those splices failed due to the age of the cable. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff have assisted as needed.

Corps engineers were trying to restore power with the help of Pacific Power; however, logistical, supply and technical issues have so far proved unsuccessful.

“Our goal is to find a solution as quickly as possible and connecting to an alternate power supplier seemed like a good option,” said Tammy Mackey, Portland District Fisheries Section chief. “We then started working through the challenges associated with that and ran into multiple obstacles, including needing transformer and electrical panel replacements,” she said. “It now looks like replacing the entire feeder cable is going to be the fastest way for us to restore power to the hatchery.”

Planners don't have an estimate for how much it will cost to replace the 4,675-foot-long underground direct-buried cable. Staff are still using emergency equipment to run the hatchery and the power loss will impact some of the fish by disrupting the hatchery’s ability to warm incubation water for spring Chinook, summer and winter steelhead, and rainbow trout.

Corps biologists will work with ODFW to mitigate as much as possible, which may include altered release timings and locations.

The Corps owns Cole M. Rivers Hatchery and ODFW operates the facility where ODFW raises spring Chinook, coho, summer and winter steelhead and rainbow trout to meet mitigation requirements for construction and operation of Lost Creek Dam.

 

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Contact
Tom Conning
503-403-9378
edward.t.conning@usace.army.mil

Release no. 22-006

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