See unique fish enhancements and spawning salmon at Soda Springs Dam


TOKETEE, Ore. —Pacific Power, along with federal and state natural resource agencies, will host a public tour of the fish enhancement projects at the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project, on Wednesday, October 4, 2023. The annual tour will highlight state-of-the-art fish passage facilities and recent spawning habitat improvements at Soda Springs Dam and upstream locations on the North Umpqua River within the Umpqua National Forest, approximately 60 miles east of Roseburg.

These enhancements are part of Pacific Power's 194-megawatt hydroelectric project that produces enough renewable, emission-free electricity to supply approximately 80,000 average homes each year. The project was built in the 1940s and 50s but has undergone many substantial improvements since 2003 to balance efficient energy production with fish, wildlife, recreation, and other values.

"The river is dynamic, and so are we: constantly operating, maintaining, and improving the facilities for fish passage and protection and the habitat for fish spawning and rearing," said Rich Grost, principal aquatic scientist with Pacific Power. "It's especially satisfying to see hundreds of wild Chinook salmon spawning upstream and downstream of the dam and to share that experience on tours like this."

The tour begins at 2 p.m. and is expected to conclude by 5 p.m. It starts with a presentation at the North Umpqua Implementation Center, about an hour east of Roseburg on Highway 138. Turn left at Milepost 57 (at the green "Control Center" sign) onto Toketee School Road and proceed down the paved road one-quarter mile to the parking lot in front of the gray and blue buildings.

After the presentation, guests will be transported to the project sites on buses. Carpooling is encouraged due to limited parking space. Please wear sturdy boots or shoes, and bring a sack lunch and hard hat if you have one. Hard hats are required to access the dam and will be provided to those who don't have their own.

Space is limited and must be reserved by contacting Rich Grost (Pacific Power) at 541-498-2617 or by September 29, 2023, and providing the names of everyone in your party. Last-minute requests will be accommodated on a space-available basis.

The Resource Coordination Committee sponsors the tour for the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project. Members include PacifiCorp, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Oregon Department of Water Resources. Representatives of several of these agencies will be participating in the tour.