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Two of Oregonís Worst Fish Passage Barriers Removed

This summer, the Fielder and Wimer dams on Evans Creek in Oregon were removed, restoring unimpeded fish passage to an important Rogue River tributary. Completion of this project allows migratory fish, including Endangered Species Act-listed coho salmon, free access to 70 miles of high-quality habitat.

In addition to providing access to spawning and rearing habitat, the dam removals will improve wood and gravel transport downstream. Gravel and large wood are important for creating good quality fish habitat.
In 2013, the dams were documented as two of the top ten worst barriers on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fish Passage Priority list. They were originally constructed for irrigation diversion but they stopped being used in the 1980s and were no longer being maintained.

The NOAA Restoration Center provided critical funding for design and perNmitting to prepare the project for construction. These are the most recent in a series of systematic dam removals that we have helped remove in the Rogue River watershed. Removal of the Gold Hill, Gold Ray, Savage Rapids, Tokay Canal, Fielder, and Wimer dams opened more than 500 miles of habitat in the Rogue River Basin.

Posted September 21, 2015

Deconstruction of Fielder Dam in August 2015. Photo courtesy of River Design Group.