News Stories

Tag: Willamette
  • September

    Mother Nature can be comforting but has scolded (scalded) us this year

    Mother Nature can be comforting and calm but this year it seems like she used our first, middle and last name as she scolded (or scalded) us … “Pacific North [emphasis added] West, what in the world were you thinking?!” … for punching our hypothetical little sister (California). Our punishment has been drought, record-breaking temperatures, wildfires and extremely dry conditions throughout the region. Even though the early part of this summer was a scorching hot nightmare, north western Oregon is fortunate to have a consistent flow of water – thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ system of dams and reservoirs in the Willamette Valley.
  • June

    That sounds fishy: twisting traps troll tributaries in the Willamette

    The bulky contraptions float listlessly downstream of three dams in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The buoyant, metal devices hold large screws that the water flow turns. This twist of the screw – creating a creaking, rasping, scraping sound – generates enough hydraulics to keep small fish from escaping the slowly spinning, cone-shaped collectors – or, screw traps.
  • July

    Fate and flows: Oregon native keeps water moving through state

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Salina Hart dreams about water. It makes sense: she grew up on the water, and often went tubing down the local Clackamas River, the North Santiam and the Long Tom. Even after the massive local floods of 1996 swelled the river, inundated her home and took out most of her neighborhood, she still loved water.
  • June

    Float trip conveys canoers, concerns on Corps-altered river

    After the alterations, the Long Tom River was straighter, deeper, wider and, combined with an upstream dam, reduced flood risks to the downstream communities. In the years that followed, the Corps managed the river by balancing flood risk and environmental stewardship with less and less funding for maintenance.
  • Living with dams: deluge an ever-present possibility

    If Cougar were to completely fail, that water would rush 60 miles down the McKenzie River, washing away everything in its path, until it reached the Eugene and Springfield area. The deluge could make Eugene and Springfield look like Corvallis, Oregon City and Portland after the Flood of 1996; although no dams failed during that event. That image, and the desire to do everything possible to keep it from becoming reality, was the backdrop for a recent inspection at Cougar Dam, May 24.