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Small Dam Removal Effectiveness Monitoring
Introduction
Funding of dam removal restoration projects falls within the top 10 areas of OWEB restoration investments.  As a result of this significant investment, the OWEB Board prioritized funding of effectiveness monitoring dollars to evaluate the success of these projects to provide valuable information for future project development and implementation. 
 
Currently in Oregon there are several dams that have been removed recently or are scheduled for removal within the next several years.  Brownsville Dam on the Calapooia River and Marmot Dam on the Sandy River were removed during the summer of 2007.  Chiloquin Dam on the Sprague River in Southern Oregon was removed in 2008.  Savage Rapids Dam on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon is scheduled for removal in 2009 and plans are in consideration for the future removal of Sodom Dam on the Calapooia River.   The removal and scheduled removal of these dams has placed Oregon in a position to support the evaluation of small dam removal projects.  The combined objectives of these effectiveness monitoring projects are designed to document the short-term effects of dam removal while improving the ability to predict ecosystem response for future dam removal projects.
 

Small Dam Removal Guide
OWEB is pleased to announce the availability of this handy guide for people managing the removal of small dams in their watersheds. Author Denise Hoffert-Hay shares valuable insights and useful permitting information based on her experience managing the removal, in 2007, of the Brownsville Dam in the Willamette Basin's Calapooia Watershed.
 
This is a "living" document in the sense that it is posted to the web site, not printed. We have done this in recognition that small dam removal in Oregon is relatively new, and will most likely be an evolving activity. Specifically, the permitting process is fluid and ever-changing.   
 
Therefore, to keep this guidance current and useful, our intent is to update periodically — to capture not only changing regulations, but to include new small dam removal projects subsequent to the one featured in this guide. Our hope is that as small dam removals become more numerous across Oregon that project managers will use this guide and send us their comments on how it can be improved. If you have comments to offer, photos to provide, new or different hotlinks, please send an email to: wendy.hudson@state.or.us. 
 
Small Dam Removal Guide in Oregon - A Guide for Project Managers (PDF)
 
 

Brownsville Dam Removal
The removal of the Brownsville Dam on the Calapooia River is expected to affect local hydrology, sedimentation processes (erosion, transport, and deposition), and the ecology of the Calapooia channel, floodplain, and riparian zone. This effectiveness monitoring strategy is designed to document the short-term effects of these removals, including the benefits and risks associated with the removal of Brownsville Dam, while improving the capability to predict ecosystem response related to dam removal. A study of the social and community influences and outcomes of dam removal at Brownsville Dam will be completed under another monitoring program. 

Brownsville Dam Removal Report - DRAFT (PDF)
 
Monitoring Plan for Brownsville Dam (PDF)
 
Presentation to the Calapooia Watershed Council (PDF)
 
Pre-Implementation Monitoring Reports (PDF)
 
Before and After Photos (PDF)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Savage Rapids Dam Removal
The objective of this research is the documentation of physical and biological responses of the Rogue River to dam removal.  Presently, four dam removals are at some level of implementation. As a “medium” sized dam removal, the proposed monitoring strategy is critical as this removal represents an important learning opportunity. The monitoring approach is designed to engage local stakeholders in an assessment of river recovery while addressing important research questions of interest to the broader science community. The analyses and documentation will articulate and test procedures for reliability in predicting responses to dam removal, making tools more accessible for future dam removals. Thus, in combination with monitoring activities occurring at the Brownsville Dam removal site, this monitoring program will document the outcomes of a small and medium dam removal, as well as demonstrate, test, and document effectiveness monitoring procedures for future dam removals. This will occur through the development of a guidance document, including (1) sample monitoring plans, study designs, and data analysis approaches of systematic effectiveness monitoring; (2) detailed cost estimates (per-hours/year) and features of various methods for future monitoring planning; and (3) development and documentation of monitoring and prediction methods, such as estimating stored sediment volumes behind dams.
 
Monitoring Plan for Savage Rapids Dam (PDF)
 
Savage Rapids Dam Removal Photos (USBR web page PDF)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Marmot Dam Removal and Sediment Transport Monitoring
The ability to forecast channel change in response to dam removal is a critical component of the dam removal project decision-making process. Monitoring the changes in the Sandy River following the removal of Marmot Dam provides a unique opportunity to gather key data which will aid in the development of a model for sediment routing following a dam removal.  The project will also document the changes over time in the hydro-geomorphic form of the Sandy River as the Marmot Dam sediment moves through the system. The results will add to the regional understanding of dam removal projects.

Science of the Sandy (PDF)
 
Sandy River Sediment Monitoring Report (PDF)