Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project

Willamette River Basin; McKenzie River, Lane and Linn Counties, Oregon

Project Profile

The Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project blocked upstream and downstream passage for ESA-listed fish. The three-dam (Trail Bridge, Smith and Carmen) power project decreased stream flows.

Listed Species

Upper Willamette River Chinook

Licensee

Eugene Water & Electric Board 

FERC Relicensing Status

The parties signed a settlement agreement in October 2008. FERC issued an environmental assessment in 2009, generally adopting the settlement agreement measures in the proposed action. NOAA Fisheries issued a biological opinion in May 2011. FERC has not yet issued a license because of questions about project activity (primarily gravel placement and habitat restoration) in a designated Wild and Scenic River.  Designation of critical habitat for spotted owl by US Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012 has prompted further delay in order to complete consultation on this species.   Improvements expected in the new license include construction of upstream and downstream fish passage facilities at Trail Bridge Dam, implementing year-round minimum flow releases into the McKenzie and Smith Rivers, and habitat enhancements.

Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC eLibrary: Docket #P-2242

NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion