Contact Us
Careers
Investors
Search PGE  
Hydro Plants & Fish Passage
Hydro Plants & Fish Passage
An overview of PGE’s Clackamas River facilities
Hydro Plants & Fish Passage

PGE hydro projects on the Clackamas River
PGE hydro projects on the Clackamas River

For photos and more information on Clackamas River projects, see our Hydropower Photo Tour.

Back to top

River Mill Dam
The River Mill project, located west of Estacada, began generating power in 1911. Five turbines generate enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes. River Mill Dam is the first structure encountered by fish migrating upstream. A fish ladder built in 1912, and since modified and improved several times, provides fish passage.

PGE worked with federal and state agencies to design and build a new ladder, completing the effort in December 2006. Native fish are now allowed to continue upstream to preserve the native populations. The 1.9-mile fish ladder runs from the diversion dam to above North Fork Dam, and is the longest operating fish ladder in the world.

Downstream migrating juvenile fish, or smolts, from the upper reaches of the Clackamas are collected and counted just above North Fork Dam. The fish are then released into a 20-inch diameter pipe that carries them about five miles downstream, returning them to the main river below River Mill Dam.

Back to top

Faraday powerhouse
Six turbines at the Faraday powerhouse generate enough electricity to power more than 16,000 homes. Fish moving upstream from Faraday powerhouse travel up the main channel until they reach the Faraday Diversion Dam, about two miles upstream.

Back to top

Faraday Diversion Dam
Originally named Cazadero, Faraday began operation in 1907 at a site just east of Estacada. This dam was rebuilt in 1965 after a flood rendered the original timber crib dam inoperable. This facility does not produce power. It diverts water to Faraday Lake, where water flows through the Faraday powerhouse into Estacada Lake, the two-mile stretch of water from Faraday to River Mill Dam.

Back to top

Faraday fish ladder and holding pen
Fish migrating upstream enter a fish ladder at Faraday Diversion Dam and swim into a holding pen. From June through mid-October, fish entering the holding pen are counted.

Native fish continue upstream
Native fish are allowed to continue upstream to preserve the native populations. The 1.9-mile fish ladder runs from the diversion dam to above North Fork Dam, and is the longest operating fish ladder in the world.

Hatchery fish moved downstream
Hatchery fish are moved downstream by truck to Barton Park where they are released, providing increasing fishing opportunities. These fish-sorting efforts are part of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s wild fish management plan.

Back to top

North Fork Dam
The North Fork facility, which generates enough electricity to power more than 4,500 homes, went into operation in 1958. The project created a 331-acre lake, with which PGE controls river flows at North Fork, Faraday and River Mill.

Back to top

Downstream passage of smolts
Smolts migrating downstream from the upper Clackamas encounter North Fork Dam, where a unique collection system passes fish into the North Fork fish ladder. The juvenile fish travel about 1-1/2 miles down the ladder to a separator, where they are diverted into a holding tank, identified and counted. Fish are then released into a 20-inch pipe that carries them about five miles to where they’re released into the Clackamas River below River Mill Dam.

Back to top

Oak Grove powerhouse
Located 23 miles east of Estacada, our Oak Grove plant began operations in 1924. As the powerhouse was being built, a diversion dam was constructed on the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River. The storage reservoir behind this dam is known as Lake Harriet, and is located above waterfalls that prevent salmon passage. Water is diverted through a four-mile-long pipeline to Frog Lake, where it again travels two miles through a pipeline down to the Oak Grove powerhouse, which produces enough electricity to power more than 22,000 homes. Because of the high velocities created by the sharp drop in elevation, this is PGE’s most efficient hydro facility.

Back to top

Timothy Lake
In 1956, Timothy Lake was created to provide an additional storage. Water is released from the reservoir in fall and winter when lack of rain or cold weather reduces natural stream flows below levels for peak operation of the Oak Grove plant. Timothy Lake has kokanee, eastern brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks the lake with rainbows throughout the summer. There is no fish passage out of the lake.

Back to top

WWW Version: 5.0.0 Server: JWTCVP******2