The Fishhawk Lake Project Solutions Committee, originally undertook the role and responsibility of Program Management for delivering a Flood Management & Fish Ladder solution for Fishhawk Lake.  It created a Project Plan that identified and described many of the major deliverables and tasks in order to fund, develop and subsequently construct new infrastructure.  Its primary goals were as follows:
To design and construct a supplemental flood management spillway and bring up to current standards the fish passage infrastructure. 
The following were the incremental objectives of obtaining this goal:
  • To research and explore alternative solutions in response to the flood control, spillway capacity, fish ladder/passage requirements, sediment deposits affecting the lake and water quality.
  • To develop alternative response solutions, guide the selection of the response(s) and work with professional firms for the design and development of the solution(s).
  • To establish working relationships with regulatory and permitting agencies, along with the environmental, water and fish related organizations to collaboratively join with engineering and construction firms to construct the new infrastructure.
  • To pursue and obtain project funding from lake membership, public grant opportunities and State/Federal agencies.
As of the end of 2019, the Solutions committee had accomplished its primary goal of defining a solution for the lake.  That solution is now in its final design and execution phases and is led by a group of professional consultants and overseen by multiple government and regulatory agencies.
Background and Existing Lake Conditions
In February of 1996 and December 2007, floods created a situation in which Fishhawk Dam nearly overtopped.  Required spillway capacity is partially a function of the dam’s hazard rating. Hazard ratings, as set forth in the Oregon Administration rules (OAR 690-020-0100) are categorized as “low hazard”, “significant hazard”, and “high hazard”. The hazard rating is determined by estimated damage and death that could be caused by a catastrophic dam failure. It is not a reflection of a dam’s condition. Fishhawk Dam is currently designated a significant hazard dam. This designation requires the spillway to safely pass 50% of the PMF which is 5,262 cfs. The current spillway can pass approximately 3,350 cfs when the dam is full (2 feet of freeboard) leading to the need to increase capacity by more than 1,900 cfs. to obtain the desired flood management system.
In addition to the existing spillway being undersized, the existing fish ladder has deteriorated after 50 years of use and does not meet current Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) criteria to ensure successful upstream fish passage. The configuration also does not meet current downstream passage requirements. In discussions with ODFW on both the local and state level, improving fish passage on this dam is a major priority and meets the criteria for securing grant money to fix or replace this existing structure.
Further, the lake is subject to upstream erosion which continually deposits sediment into the lake.  Fishhawk Lake personnel historically performed limited dredging operations using a small dredge in an effort to maintain adequate water depth, quality and temperature.  However, in 2020 this dredge was abandoned as it could not keep up and struggled to overcome significant events that deposit large quantities of sediment.  In time, a water quality plan will need to be developed in order to properly maintain our beautiful lake and its vast ecosystem of animals, plants and humans.
Design Species
Through consultations with the ODFW, species for the Fishhawk Dam fish ladder were identified. The species of concern include Steelhead, Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Coho Salmon and Pacific Lamprey. Each of these species has different upstream and downstream migration patterns, fish passage requirements, and spawning requirements.  The Fishhawk Creek watershed currently has both adult and juvenile Steelhead.
The Dam Safety and Fish Passage Project
On July 12, 2020, in a special membership meeting, the community passed two motions.  The first motion was the approval of the project with the understanding that once the budget was finalized they would again vote to approve a special assessment.  The second was to approve being assessed for next phase of the project - Design - during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. 
As discussed in a July 1, 2021 town hall and as part of the Oregon V. FLRC settlement agreement, the Fishhawk Lake Reserve and Community has committed to complete the proposed Dam Safety and Fish Passage project by the end of 2023.  Throughout the last several years, the project team has continued to provide updates to the project each month as to their progress and next steps.  In late July 2021, the team requested that the board move forward with securing funding for the project in order for them to obtain bids at the most optimal time of the planning cycle and to help ensure we maintain both the budget and timeline. 
Therefore, at the annual meeting on August 21, 2021, the community voted to approve a serial special assessment, beginning January 1, 2022, to fund the budgeted costs for construction.
After the the serial special assessment was approved at the 2021 annual meeting, construction bids were received and the actual cost was much higher than anticipated. To that end, at a special meeting of the membership (via a written ballot in lieu of a meeting) between July 25 and August 8, 2022, the community voted to approve another serial special assessment, to begin January 1, 2023. The board and project team thank the community for their continued support of this important project.
August 7, 2021 Dam Safety & Fish Ladder Project Status, Funding and Special Assessment Community Presentation
January 18, 2021 Project and Finance team Update Presentation
November 2, 2020 Project Update Presentation
June 25, 2020 Informational Presentation
2017 video in preparation of the vote to borrow from reserves 
August 2016 video of Scale Model
Learn how to catch and release properly.