Willamette Falls Hydroelectric Project

Willamette River Basin; Willamette River, Clackamas County, Oregon

Project Profile

Prior to relicensing, the Willamette Falls Hydroelectric Project degraded downstream water quality and impeded passage of ESA-listed fish.

Listed Species

Upper Willamette River Chinook

Upper Willamette River steelhead

Lower Columbia River steelhead

Lower Columbia River coho

Lower Columbia River Chinook

Licensee

Portland General Electric

FERC Relicensing Status

NOAA Fisheries issued a biological opinion in June 2005. FERC issued a new 30-year license in 2005, which included fish protection measures proposed by PGE in a settlement agreement, and supported by NOAA fisheries in its biop. PGE completed construction of new facilities in 2007. The improvements included installation of a flow control structure at the falls to safely pass fish downstream, a bypass system in the powerhouse forebay that keeps fish away from turbines, and structural modifications to the forebay to improve fish guidance bypass measures at the powerhouse and falls. Testing of the new juvenile fish bypass systems shows 98% juvenile fish passage survival.

Resources

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC eLibrary: Docket #P-2233

NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion