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Army Corps Will Drawdown Cougar Reservoir


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is lowering Cougar Reservoir in order to do what it says is urgently needed repair work.

The Corps found large pieces of debris inside the temperature control tower that regulates the Cougar Reservoir dam. The debris affects the dam’s ability to generate hydropower. It could also impact spring salmon runs. Scott Clemans is a spokesman for the corps.
“The water that passes through the powerhouse is also very important for attracting spring chinook to a collection facility just downriver from the dam. If the powerhouse is not operating, fish swimming up the south fork McKenzie River will get confused about which way they need to go.”
Clemans says the drawdown will affect recreation because the water level will be below the two boat ramps in Cougar Reservoir. Clemans says the south fork McKenzie may look muddy but that water quality will still be good. The corps hopes to have the repairs done by April 1st.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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