Gold Ray Dam Removal and Sediment Analysis
The Rogue River flows for more than 200 miles from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean and is one of the original eight rivers included in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Mid-way along the river sits the Gold Ray Dam, which is part of an obsolete hydroelectric facility. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife identified this 38-foot-high and 360-foot-long structure as a priority for removal and fish passage improvement by placing it on the Oregon Statewide Fish Passage Priority List. Removing the dam will allow for riparian restoration and improved fish passage, and will increase recreational activities by returning the river to its free-flowing condition.
HDR provided environmental permitting and documentation, hydraulic and hydrologic analysis, sediment transport analysis, and sediment management plan development to support this dam removal project. Obtaining environmental clearances and permits prior to the in-water work required close coordination with resource agencies and efficient development of National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act Section 106, Endangered Species Act and permit documents. Environmental specialists gathered information on existing conditions, and supplemented it with field investigations and agency coordination to prepare the environmental assessment required for dam removal.
Removing the dam modified the hydraulics of the Rogue River, requiring accumulated sediment to be redistributed. HDR developed a sediment management plan to mitigate negative habitat impacts downstream and led a pre-removal study of captured sediment behind Gold Ray Dam to determine the volume and distribution of sediments in the impoundment and to characterize contaminant concentrations.