Notching Elk Creek Dam
For decades, the Elk Creek Dam sat partially constructed and served no useful purpose. The dam’s inadequate passage facilities caused major problems for fish in Elk Creek. Historically, an estimated thirty percent of the Rogue Basin’s coho salmon spawned in Elk Creek, alongside populations of chinook, summer and winter steelhead, and cutthroat trout.
After decades of hard work, WaterWatch, Oregon Wild, and their partners succeeded in getting Elk Creek Dam notched. The notching allows passage of fish past the dam, and the creek has been returned to its original gradient and alignment.
Watch a video of the blast notching the dam!
Rafters passing through the notched Elk Creek Dam, January 2009, Photo courtesy of Bill Cross
Kayaker passing through the notched Elk Creek Dam, January 2009, Photo courtesy of Bill Cross