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Hydro Plants & Fish Facilities
Hydro Plants and Fish Facilities
Hydro Plants & Fish Facilities

View our map of the Deschutes River projects. For photos, see our Hydropower Photo Tour.

Pelton hydroelectric project
Completed in 1958, Pelton Dam’s concrete structure rises 204 feet from bedrock. The dam is 26-1/2 feet thick at its base, tapering to 8 feet at the top. Width of the dam is 965 feet. Three generators produce enough electricity to power more than 45,000 homes.

A small regulating dam was constructed 2.4 miles downstream from Pelton. The reservoir behind the dam allows PGE to control the river flow to maintain favorable biological conditions for aquatic life in the 100-mile stretch of the lower Deschutes. The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation installed a turbine unit at the regulating dam in 1982. It generates enough electricity to power more than 7,000 homes. We operate this facility remotely from the Pelton Round Butte Control Room. For more details, check out the project background (PDF).

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Lake Simtustus
Behind Pelton Dam is a 611-acre reservoir called Lake Simtustus. It extends 7-1/2 miles upstream to the tailwaters of Round Butte Dam.

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Round Butte hydroelectric project
Round Butte, completed in 1964, is the largest hydroelectric dam wholly within the state of Oregon. The massive 1,380-foot-long rock-fill structure rises 440 feet from its bedrock foundation. It is about 2,500 feet thick at its base and 44 feet thick at the crest. Round Butte’s three generators produce enough electricity to power more than 96,500 homes.

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Lake Billy Chinook
Round Butte Dam backs the 4,000-acre reservoir known as Lake Billy Chinook. The reservoir consists of three arms, one each extending to the Crooked, Deschutes and Metolius rivers.

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Deschutes Passage
The Deschutes fish passage facility has been in operation since December 2009. The tower creates currents in Lake Billy Chinook that attract juvenile fish migrating downstream. Fish are collected and transported below the Deschutes River dams to continue their journey to the Pacific. On their return, adult fish enter a fish trap below the hydro projects and are moved above the dams to complete their migration cycle. Find more details in our project overview (PDF).

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Round Butte hatchery
A salmon and steelhead hatchery was built on the powerhouse deck at Round Butte Dam. The facility is owned and financed by PGE, but operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Releases of juvenile fish commenced in 1974. Approximately 160,000 summer steelhead and 240,000 spring chinook salmon are reared to smolt size and released into the river each year.

Returning adult hatchery fish are harvested from both the Columbia and Deschutes Rivers by sport and commercial fishermen, and Native American subsistence fishermen. Steelhead entering the Pelton fish trap serve as stock for the next generation. Excess adults are used by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.

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