Restoring Habitat

For fish, a healthy habitat means cool, clean water, plenty of shade, and places to spawn or hide from prey. In addition to ensuring safe passage around our dams, PGE and our partners have invested in restoring habitat on and along the Clackamas, using the same innovative and passionate approach that drives our fish passage work.

Key successes

Habitat restoration is an ongoing effort on the Clackamas and its tributaries. So far, key successes include:

  • Cooler water in Faraday Lake: We dredged a deeper channel and shaped the lake bottom so water flows faster, creating healthier temperatures for fish.
  • More spawning grounds: PGE restored flow to the Oak Grove Fork that for years was inaccessible to Spring Chinook.
  • Shaded streams: To shade and cool the river and its tributaries, PGE has worked in partnership with the Clackamas River Basin Council to re-plant and restore 30 miles of river banks on the Clackamas River.
  • Habitat for Fish: Throughout the Clackamas River, PGE has built habitat that provides safe refuge and improves spawning grounds.
  • Gravel for water quality: PGE adds gravel at carefully selected locations downstream of the dams to improve habitats for spawning, mimicking natural deposits that would occur if the dams weren’t there. Gravel provides natural filtration and supports a thriving ecosystem.

Community partners

Our partners in managing and restoring the Clackamas River Basin include the following:

  • Association of Northwest Steelheaders
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Clackamas River Basin Council
  • Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Metro
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Oregon Parks & Recreation Department
  • Trout Unlimited
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Forest Service

Clackamas Fund

Through the Clackamas Fund, PGE will award $8 million through 2030 to assist conservation organizations, governmental agencies and landholders in improving habitat in areas where native fish migrate, spawn and rear. The application-based program supports a wide range of projects, from restoring creeks to replacing culverts.

The first round of funding totaling $500,000 was distributed in 2013. The second round of awards was distributed in 2016, totaling $3.5 million . The next opportunity to apply for funding will be in 2020.

For more information, see the Clackamas Fund implementation plan, or contact John Esler in PGE Hydro Licensing by email or at 503-464-8563.

Clackamas Habitat Restoration