Blue River Dam

3,200 cfs flows creating stronger McKenzie River currents

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BLUE RIVER: Increased water releases from Cougar and Blue River dams will limit access to some nearby recreation opportunities. The McKenzie River will also have higher than normal flows as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduces reservoir levels behind the dams to allow for maintenance and rehabilitation of the two dams’ spillway gates.
The road over Cougar Dam will remained closed through November 30th while spillway gate repairs are underway. Visitors accustomed to driving across the dam to get to the Echo day use area, boat launch and the East Fork lower trailhead will have a long (approximately two to three hour) drive to get to those sites. Access is via the Horse Creek (Forest Service Road 2638), spur road 356 and then onto 1993. FSR 19-500 past Slide Creek campground to access the Echo day use and boat launch sites is not suitable for passenger cars.

Face of Blue River DamPhoto Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Discussed for decades, the addition of a generator to the Blue River Dam could become a reality.

BLUE RIVER: The off-again, on-again plans to add a hydroelectric generator to the Blue River Dam have been revived by Qualified Hydro 15, LLC of Boston, Massachusetts. The Eugene Water & Electric Board analyzed the economics of the project several times since construction was halted in 1994 but was not able to come up with an economic justification for moving forward.

McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/subscriptions-0. Purchase copies online at: http://mckenzieriverreflectionsnewspaper.com/catalog/back-issues-0. Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.