News Releases

Corps to hold Foster Reservoir lower this summer

Published May 13, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alerts boaters and other users of Foster Reservoir near Sweet Home, Ore., that the reservoir has been filled to an elevation of 635 feet above sea level for the summer of 2014; about two feet lower than usual.

The Corps saw very little impact to recreation users last summer, when the reservoir was filled to a similar elevation. All boat ramps and Edgewater Marina should still be accessible. Linn County Parks will install extra dock sections at the Lewis Creek moorages to extend them into deeper water. At all water levels, but especially when below normal, boaters should watch carefully for underwater hazards.

Adjusting the reservoir’s summer elevation is part of a long-term study that is helping the Corps determine how to better operate Foster Dam for spring Chinook, winter steelhead and other fish species in the South Santiam River Basin. The study is collecting information about fish behavior, density and movement in the reservoir, and fish passage through the dam.

Data from summer 2013 showed about two-thirds of migrating juvenile fish passed through a notched wall segment called a fish weir in one of the dam’s spillway bays, rather than through the turbines. The maximum reservoir elevation at which the weir can effectively operate is 635 feet above sea level.

This summer a Passive Integrated Transponder detection system will be installed on the weir, allowing researchers to better track passage of PIT tagged fish.

These research projects are part of the Corps’ efforts to implement the recommendations in the National Marine Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife services’ 2008 Willamette Biological Opinions. For more information, visit

Foster Dam and Reservoir is one of 13 dam and reservoir projects operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Willamette Basin. Each dam contributes to a water resource plan designed to provide flood damage reduction, power generation, irrigation, water quality improvement, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation and navigation on the Willamette River and many of its tributaries. For more information, visit


Scott Clemans

Release no. 14-033

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