Lewis River Hydroelectric Projects

Columbia River Basin; Lewis River, Clark, Cowlitz & Skamania Counties, Washington

Project Profile

The three dams and four powerhouses (Merwin, Yale, Swift numbers 1 and 2 hydropower projects) that comprise the Lewis River Hydroelectric Complex block passage for ESA-listed fish.

Listed Species

Lower Columbia River Chinook

Lower Columbia River coho

Lower Columbia River steelhead

Columbia River chum


PacifiCorp & Cowlitz Public Utility District No. 1

FERC Relicensing Status

The parties reached a settlement agreement in 2004. The agreement calls for minimum streamflows, habitat improvements, and opening up more than 170 miles of river habitat that is now blocked to migrating fish, plus numerous protection, mitigation, and enhancement measures for fisheries and other resources. NMFS complete a biological opinion on August 27, 2007. FERC issued a new 50-year license in 2008. Fish have been reintroduced above the upper dam (Swift #1) beginning with adult transport in 2012 and juvenile collection in 2013.  For this to happen, a Swift Reservoir Floating Surface Collector to collect downstream migrants and a Merwin upstream passage system was constructed.


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC eLibrary: Dockets #P-935 (Merwin), P-2071 (Yale), P-2213 (Swift #2), P-2111 (Swift #1)

NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion dated August 27, 2007; NMFS Consultation No. 2005/05891