Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sandy River delta - in for changes!

East Channel Dam under construction - Sandy River 1930's
The Sandy River - recent recipient of an upswell in enhancement - is again undergoing a bit of a change. Whether you knew it or not a diversion dam has been in place near the river's mouth for decades [since the 1930's in fact]. It is now being removed as part of the Columbia/Snake Rivers enhancement.
According to an article in the Columbia Basin Bulletin the dam closed off what is known as the east channel - it used to be the primary flow for the Sandy to reach the Columbia....believe it or not the 750 foot long by 8 foot high earthen dam was installed to help smelt and salmon 'find' the referred to 'shallow' Sandy River. Now newer studies and assessments find that a reopening of the East Channel will aid in cooler water temperatures [deterring some of the warm water species that have inhabited the area] and increase salmon/steelhead smolt habitat.

The PROJECT - undertaken by the Corps of Engineers is currently underway. Read the Corp of Engineers ESA report.