Solutions

Introduction
The Fishhawk Lake Project Solutions Committee, undertook the role and responsibility of Program Management for delivering a Flood Management & Fish Ladder solution at Fishhawk Lake.  It created a Project Plan that identifies and describes 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 design and execution phases and being led by a group of professional consultants. 
 
The committee known as FLPS is currently in a transition period as they redefine their charter and purpose.  There is still much more great work to do and the community is better for it because this groups time and dedication to our environment.  We look forward to the future.
 
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 perform limited dredging operations using its small dredge in an effort to maintain adequate water depth, quality and temperature.  However, it cannot keep up and struggles to overcome significant events that deposit large quantities of sediment.  An optimum solution would be to create a system that works simultaneously with weather events to scour the bottom and basically flush both existing and new sediment in-flow.
 
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.
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Documents
Video
June 25th, 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.