The Corps of Engineers has upgraded the Foster Dam adult fish facility near Sweet Home, Oregon. This work, which finished in February 2014, included upgrading portions of the existing facility on the dam and powerhouse structures and constructing large new fish collection, holding, sorting, spawning and transportation features on the south bank of the South Santiam River from the powerhouse west into Wiley Park.
We selected Wiley Park as the best location for the new facility features because it had the largest amount of clear space available for construction and is already Corps of Engineers property.
The original facility collected adult fish for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s South Santiam hatchery to compensate for habitat blocked by construction of Foster and Green Peter dams. The new facility will continue to support the hatchery program, but will also safely trap and haul wild adult fish upstream of Foster and Green Peter dams via transport trucks, where they will be released to spawn naturally.
This project is required under the 2008 Willamette Project Biological Opinions produced by the National Marine Fisheries Service and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and is part of our ongoing efforts to restore Upper Willamette River spring Chinook salmon and winter steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. The existing facility does not meet current fish handling standards. Fish are often physically handled and sometimes injured, contributing to high levels of pre-spawning mortality.