The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered White River flows from Mud Mountain Dam this week to make repairs on the White River Diversion Dam near Buckley.
The Corps’ Seattle District is working with Cascade Water Alliance, which owns the diversion dam, to keep it operational until the Corps builds a new fish passage facility that is expected to be operational in 2020, depending on funding. The new facility will include a barrier structure to replace the diversion dam built in 1912.
The barrier structure helps guide fish into the Corps’ current fish passage facility that was completed in 1949. Without a working barrier dam this critical mission is jeopardized. The facility helps pass listed endangered species of Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout as well as other species, such as the estimated one-half million pink salmon expected in 2017.
Flows were reduced to 600 cubic feet per second for worker safety while making the repairs. Corps officials coordinate with tribal, federal and state agencies when changing water flows for this type of work. The repairs should be complete by Friday, Feb. 3 and flows will be restored to normal.
As always, river users are cautioned that flows can change without warning.