Lost Creek Dam power outage impacts salmon hatchery yield

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – About a million Chinook salmon could be released at a smaller than normal size next year because of a power outage.

The main electrical power feeder from Lost Creek Dam to the Cole M. Rivers Hatchery failed at the end of April this year.

The hatchery now runs on emergency equipment but it’s not enough to run everything at the site, including the pools where fish are grown.

Since then, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been working to repair the nearly 4,000-foot-long underground line.

During the repairs, they found issues in the 50-year-old cable and say the best fix is replacing the entire thing.

Tom Conning with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, “So what we’ve tried to do recently, we’re splicing that cable, about 300 feet of that cable, and in doing so just kept on identifying more faults.”

Now, the fish hatchery is looking at holding the fish a little longer to try to get some more growth before they’re released.

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