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September 16, 2016

Diana Knous, Pacific Power Regional Business Manager

Salmon and steelhead go up the North Umpqua River every fall. Why not you?

By Diana Knous
Regional Business Manager

Every year Pacific Power, along with federal and state natural resource agencies, leads a public tour of the fish enhancement projects at the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project, about 60 miles east of Roseburg.

This year the tour is Friday, Oct. 7, during the peak of Chinook salmon spawning. We’d like to see as many people as possible make the trip. The fish and facilities are hard to see from the highway, so these tours are arranged to help people view what is being done to return salmon and steelhead to the upper river. This is your chance.

North Umpqua Tour - Soda Springs Dam

PacifiCorp's 194-megawatt hydroelectric project produces enough renewable, emission-free electricity to supply 44,000 average homes each year. The project was built in the 1940s and 50s but has undergone major improvements since 2001 to better balance energy production with fish, wildlife, recreation, and other values.

"The river is dynamic and so are we: constantly operating, maintaining, and improving the fish passage systems and related fish habitat features," said Rich Grost, PacifiCorp principal aquatic scientist. “It’s very encouraging to see salmon spawning both upstream and downstream of the dam, and to share that experience on tours like this.”

The tour begins at 10 a.m. with a presentation at the North Umpqua Implementation Center near Toketee and should be done by 2 p.m. From Roseburg, take Hwy 138 east and turn left at Milepost 57 (at the green "Toketee Control Center" sign) onto Toketee School Road, then proceed along the main paved road a quarter-mile to the gray and blue PacifiCorp buildings. After the presentation, guests will be transported on buses to the project sites.

Space is limited and must be reserved by contacting Rich Grost at 541-498-2617 or by Oct. 5 and providing names for everyone in your party.

Steelhead in viewing window

The tour is sponsored by the Resource Coordination Committee 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 Marine Fisheries Service, 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. (Watch a KEZI video from last year.)

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.

Hope to see you there. Sorry, no fishing rods on this trip.

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