Work begins on Ashland Creek dam removal project

ASHLAND, Ore. — Work on a dam removal project in Ashland Creek is underway.

The goal is to remove the Smith-Meyer-Roper Diversion dam to help young Coho salmon and steelhead pass through. Right now, experts say the fish can’t pass the dam because it’s too high of a jump.

Project managers said it will also improve the irrigation system so that water users can still divert their full water right.

“Coldwater habitat for juvenile salmon is extremely important for their recovery efforts,” said Alexis Larsen with the Rogue River Watershed Council. “We want them to be able to access more of that cold water and just help them spread out more throughout Ashland Creek, which stays cold through the summer.”

The council said the $145,000 project is being paid for by grants and lottery dollars. They expect to be done in about two weeks.

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