News Releases

Fish tests delay Foster Reservoir spring refill

Published Feb. 4, 2016
PORTLAND, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alerts boaters and other users of Foster Reservoir near Sweet Home, Oregon, that the reservoir will refill on a different schedule again this year to accommodate fish passage research.

The Corps usually refills the reservoir from Feb. 1 to May 10, but this spring will instead maintain an elevation of 613 feet above sea level through April 15, and then refill to 635 feet – about two feet below the usual summer elevation – by the beginning of May. The Corps plans to hold the reservoir at 635 feet until at least June 10, then complete refill to 637 feet.

The Corps has modified Foster Reservoir’s spring refill for three consecutive years to conduct fish passage research. The adjusted water levels help attract migrating juvenile fish to a fish weir located in one of Foster Dam’s spillway bays.

The fish weir operations are part of ongoing research to determine how to best operate Foster Dam to improve the survival of spring Chinook salmon, winter steelhead and other fish species in the South Santiam River Basin.

The research has revealed new details about run timing, distribution of fish in the reservoir, and preferred passage routes through the dam. The Corps is continuing research this year to get more specific information to help with decisions on long term operations for fish passage.

Results of the previous year’s research will be presented at the Corps’ Willamette Fisheries Science Review at Oregon State University in Corvallis on Feb. 8-9. The event is open to the public; please RSVP at

For more information about the Corps’ efforts to increase survival of endangered Willamette Basin fish species, please visit
Scott Clemans

Release no. 16-004

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