Leaburg Hatchery

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Supporters of the Leaburg Fish Hatchery are celebrating after lawmakers gave the facility a last-minute reprieve this weekend.

Leaburg Hatchery

An Oregon lawmaker thinks he’s come up with a solution to keep the Leaburg Fish Hatchery open: Turn it into a state park. 

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Supporters of the Leaburg Fish Hatchery in eastern Lane County are making a last-ditch appeal to Oregon lawmakers to keep it open. A legislative budget committee could vote as soon as Tuesday on whether to save the nearly 70-year-old facility along the McKenzie River 20 miles east of Springfield.

For years, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife operated the facility under a federal contract. The federal government pulled out of that contract last year, which means it would take state funding to keep it open.

USGS

Eugene Water and Electric Board is suing the firm that designed and engineered a roll-gate lifting system on the Leaburg Dam. Two of the three gates have failed.

EWEB

The Eugene Water and Electric Board is hoping to get one of two malfunctioning roll gates on the Leaburg Dam repaired by mid-January.

One of three roll-gates broke down on the 85-year old dam on the McKenzie River in 2012. EWEB has been working on repairs and hopes to have it back in operation in a couple of weeks. Late last month, a 2nd roll-gate malfunctioned. EWEB spokesman Lance Robertson says the utility hasn’t yet determined why.  He says the dam is basically out of commission- with only one gate working.

Leaburg Hatchery

The trout and sturgeon show pond at the Leaburg Hatchery on the McKenzie River will be closed for renovations beginning Monday, July 7.

The construction is expected to take 4 to 6 weeks. The show pond will be off-limits but the rest of the hatchery will remain open to the public.

Hatchery Manager Erik Withalm says they have 70 to 90-thousand visitors each year. The show pond has large rainbow trout and a 9-foot long, 350-pound sturgeon.