October 11, 2007 - Boating Access Will Decline with Water Level at Lake Billy Chinook

October 17, 2007
October 11, 2007 - Boating Access Will Decline with Water Level at Lake Billy Chinook

Boating access will decline with water level at Lake Billy Chinook

Statesman Journal

October 11, 2007

Boating access will be restricted at The Cove Palisades State Park on Lake Billy Chinook as the lake is drawn down to allow for the construction of a fish-enhancement project.

It’s part of an effort to restore salmon and steelhead runs above Pelton and Round Butte dams.

The dropping lake level has led to the closing of the park’s Lower Deschutes landing and is likely to affect access to its Crooked River landing on weekdays.

The Upper Deschutes landing at the park will remain open as long as lake levels allow.

The park is 15 miles southwest of Madras near Culver.

Officials with Portland General Electric, in cooperation with those from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, agreed to lower the reservoir by seven feet this winter to provide access to build a fish-passage structure at Round Butte Dam.

The utility and the tribes are co-owners of the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project, and Portland General Electric operates the dams.

The reservoirs behind both dams border the Warm Springs Reservation.

It’s a massive project that will feature a 270-foot-high underwater tower with a fish-collection system on top that will draw in surface water, redirecting water currents and fish downstream toward the dam.

Fish then will be screened at the intake and trucked downstream from the dams for release.

The tower also will blend water from different depths to improve water temperatures and other conditions for fish downriver.

State park construction crews will take advantage of the lower reservoir levels to repair and improve the boating facilities at the landings.

And two self-adjusting boarding floats will be installed at the Crooked River landing.

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