REDMOND, OR -- The more than 100-year-old Cline Falls Dam is being deconstructed, west of Redmond. ShanRae Hawkins, a consultant with the Central Oregon Irrigation District, says the work is important to improving fish and wildlife habitat and returning the Deschutes River to its natural state.
Hawkins tells KBND News, "It was in disrepair and really, really needed to be taken out, so Central Oregon Irrigation District is spearheading having it removed, and it's going to cost right around $2 million, and really what that's going to do is clean up an historic part of the Deschutes River." She says the old concrete and wood structure was making migration difficult for the fish, "The main benefit is going to allow the resident trout to migrate freely through the former dam site. And, it's also good for the wildlife that can just enjoy the wetlands and the riparian areas as well; and it's really going to return that area of the river, along Cline Falls, back to a much healthier ecosystem."
The Dam stopped producing power for the area in the early 2000's, so it's no longer needed. The project should only take four days or so to complete, but then the real work of returning the river to a healthier condition begins. Hawkins says, "It'll really be an ongoing process to get that area cleaned up, and restored, and improve the habitat, but really over the next month, the majority of the work will be done."