Powerdale Dam Removal Underway on Oregon’s Hood River

Seven years after signing a settlement agreement with the dam owner, tribes, federal and state agencies, and conservation entities, removal of the 10-foot high and 206-foot long Powerdale dam on Oregon’s Hood River is finally underway. Water has been diverted around the existing dam, the last fish salvage effort has taken place, and the heavy equipment is on site. Despite the loud noise, the dust, and the deconstruction effort, it is exciting to imagine that within a few months, the dam will be out, allowing the Hood River to flow freely for the first time since 1923.  

Dam removal will provide multiple benefits to the Hood River – increased flows, improved water quality, and unimpeded fish passage for a range of fish species including spring and fall chinook, coho salmon, and winter and summer steelhead. In addition, PacifiCorp is finalizing plans to transfer its 465 acres of land in the basin to Columbia Land Trust, Hood River County, and ODFW to be maintained primarily for conservation purposes.