Cougar Dam

Closures include a large section of the Aufderheide Scenic Byway (FS Road 19)

Wildfires and extreme fire danger have prompted new fire restrictions and closures on the Willamette National Forest.

3,200 cfs flows creating stronger McKenzie River currents

Basin map

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

South ForkBLUE RIVER: The U.S. Forest Service is looking at 834 acres along the South Fork McKenzie River for some restoration work. The area extends from the base of Cougar Dam to the confluence with the McKenzie River (approximately 4.5 miles). Features include the mainstem channel and all the current or historic side channels along with the floodplain. Most of the project area is under Forest Service ownership, except for approximately 32 acres owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The project was designed to improve habitat, ecological function, and biological productivity for endangered species including spring Chinook salmon and bull trout, Pacific lamprey, and other native fish, western pond turtle, amphibians, beaver, and waterfowl. It is currently in the preliminary design phase with an expected final design by December, followed by and environmental analysis and documentation completed by March of 2016. Officials say comments are appreciated anytime, however, for input to be timely and considered in project design, they should be received by December 13, 2015.

Megan Ryan, the 28 year old female who was reported missing on September 13th, was located this morning by private contractors off Road 19 near Cougar Reservoir.  The contractors were working on a spur road off Road 19, also known as Aufderheide Drive. 

Megan RyanBLUE RIVER: Megan Ryan, a 28-year-old woman reported missing on September 13th, was located Tuesday morning by private contractors off USFS Road 19 near Cougar Reservoir.  The contractors had been working on a spur road off Road 19, also known as Aufderheide Drive.
Searchers had been looking for her after receiving a missing person report at approximately 9 p.m. on Saturday.

Floating fish collectorBLUE RIVER: A $5 million floating fish collector is on its shakedown cruise behind Cougar Dam. But don’t expect the experimental craft to travel too far. The hull is being moored vertically to the reservoir bottom in four places, and anchored horizontally by cables extending to the dam face and adjacent hills.

Cougar Dam data

 

READINGS TAKEN AT THE
US ARMY CORPS COUGAR DAM

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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.