Monday, March 19, 2012
Freeing the Calapooia
Check out this short documentary film, highlighting the removal of three small irrigation dams on the Calapooia River in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Like many dams in the region the impact of these three small dams were not well publicized, and while they did not fully obstruct fish passage, they did create substantial barriers to migration for adult salmon returning the watershed and altered the ecological function of downstream habitats by limiting the transport of sediment and wood. Like many watersheds in the Willamette Valley the Calapooia has been heavily impacted by agriculture and urban development in its lower reaches but offers a large amount of relatively intact habitat above the valley in the cascade foothills. Removing these three dams will facilitate fish access to these quality habitats.