Evans Creek dams on track for removal this summer
By Mark FreemanApr. 11, 2015
Project managers last week garnered a key state fish-passage permit that will help push other state and federal permits forward for removing the crumbling and abandoned Fielder and Wimer dams, which impede migrating wild salmon, including threatened wild coho.
"Everything's moving forward well to be able to do the removal this summer," said Bob Hunter of WaterWatch of Oregon, which has teamed with the Geos Institute and American Rivers to oversee the removal with the help of local conservation groups, angling clubs and state and federal agencies.
The key will be whether the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board approves a $462,845 grant request to round out the estimated $671,000 needed to remove both dams, Hunter said.OWEB staff have recommended to the full board that it approve the grant when it meets April 28 in Salem. The group already has secured $213,000 in federal grants and another $22,000 in in-kind services.
Removing the dams would create regular access to 16 miles of spawning habitat for wild fall chinook, 60 miles of spawning habitat for wild coho and more than 70 miles of wild steelhead spawning grounds, according to feasibility studies.