All sides win as 90-year-old salmon killer is demolished-

When Gold Ray Dam (further upstream) is taken out next year, over 150 miles of the magnificent Rogue River of SW Oregon will have been returned to freedom.

Story in the LA Times. Oregon dam’s demise lets the Rogue River run. By Kim Murphy.

Tagged with:
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

19 Responses to Savage Rapids Dam gone. Oregon's Rogue River closer to freedom

  1. Save bears says:

    Glad to hear that, I have been following this for a long time now and it is good to know they will be taking more out to free the rivers back up.

    Anyone interested in this subject, should take a look at this website, very informative:

    And download these reports:

    The reports are in .pdf format and some very informative stuff about dam removal and river restoration

  2. Save bears says:

    Well I tried to post a couple of links, I guess they didn’t take…

    Glad to see this dam removed and the river being restored.

    Anyone interested in this subject should take a look at the CDRI Website Which is the “Clearinghouse for Dam Removal information”, lots of great info and download reports on that website, look under the Getting started part of the website and the articles in .pdf format.

    I hope this trend continues it is one of the best ways to restore habitat

  3. Jay says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures of the dams on the Elwha River in the north end of Olympic NP coming down…fly fished that long while ago, and it’s a stunningly scenic river. It’ll be neat to see salmon thrashing about, digging redds and fighting for mates once again.

  4. paulWTAMU says:

    YES! I love river restoration. Here’s hoping it goes smoothly as possible 🙂

  5. dc says:

    Until the Klamath is cleared, we won’t sleep easy in the state of Jefferson.

  6. Save bears says:


    I remember reading an article a while back that said an agreement had been reached to breach the dams on the Klamath river…

  7. Layton says:


    Yes, there was an agreement on the Klamath, but the first dam removal doesn’t even START until 2020.

  8. Save bears says:

    Thanks Layton,

    I thought I heard that, I wish it could be done sooner..

  9. paulWTAMU says:

    Me, I wish they could look at removing the dam that forms lake meridith near where I live. Gimmie some more riparian habitat to go herping in. It’d help the Canadian river valley.

    How much political will does it take to get a dam breached?

  10. Jay,

    I am looking forward to the day when the dam on the Elwha River near Port Angeles is removed too.

    It would have already been done, but when Bush got elected and with the Congress at that time, the money for doing it disappeared.

  11. Save bears says:

    There are a lot of dams in this country that could be removed tot he benefit of nature and wild habitat, there are however a few, that would be devastating to the existing infrastructure, we can’t breach them all, but the majority could be and it would be a benefit, I am glad to finally see this is being realized..

  12. Save bears says:


    It take a whole lot of political will and to damn long to get one breached!

  13. Barb Rupers says:

    A dam gone, great news! It’s about time! And upstream from where it becomes the wild, whitewater, Rogue River.

    The Elwha River dam removal has been in the discussion for a long time! Lets hope the new administration moves it along a lot faster! In my opinion they have not shown a lot of concern for western landscapes.. President Obama and most of his oppointees are not of the west and see little value or interest in these public lands.

    IMHO, Bruce’s Eddy dam in Idaho on the North Fork of the Clearwater near Orofino, was a big mistake and would never have been constructed had it been proposed a few years later. Salmon, steelhead, elk, and deer populations were severly affected. I have newspaper clippings showing coyotes chasing and killing elk and deer on the reservoir as it filled. Winter range for ungulates was flooded out. There was not a lot of comment about the coyotes at that time but there certainly is about any wolf predation on “game animals” there now.

  14. Save bears says:


    It takes a whole lot of discussion and such to get a dam breached, but we can’t focus on the mistakes of the past, we must focus on the promise of the future, I am just glad to see dams being breached and rivers returned to natural flowing watersheds….we can with will and and belief bring this country back..

  15. Mr. Spam says:

    Okay, I believe in freedom of speech. Do you realize what the guppy fish is doing to the river? The guppy is not even native to the area. It is killing off all of the other fish.

    Without the dam, the water level is alarmingly low. When the dam was in, it stood like sentry guarding the fish above, and their homes. But when the environmentalists brought the 88 year old dam to it’s knees, the guppy killed the fish above. This would be close to saying that the country was being guarded by a nuclear sub and it was the only thing keeping back a gigantic wave of nuclear missiles from being launched by North Korea.

    (By the way, I heard they tested one not far from Alaska! Scary!) Anyway, what if some environmentalist said that it was hurting the whales and we need to save them. (Now I’m not entirely against saving the endangered animals, but when levels are still high, I don’t think we need to suffer just because of an animal.) What happens if they launch a huge campaign and manage to remove the sub, then North K hears about it and they blast the USA to bits?

    That may be a little drastic, but basically, its what we did to the poor innocent fishies living upstream. They couldn’t defend themselves and as a consequence, the were killed. FYI: The Salmon COULD get through the dam to the other side.

    I don’t know how they got through the guppies, but they obviously did.

  16. Layton says:

    “guppy fish”???

  17. Layton says:


    “IMHO, Bruce’s Eddy dam in Idaho on the North Fork of the Clearwater near Orofino, was a big mistake and would never have been constructed had it been proposed a few years later. Salmon, steelhead, elk, and deer populations were severly affected.”

    Sorry, this is a pretty old thread and I haven’t even looked at it for awhile.

    “Bruce’s Eddy dam”?? Where is that. Are you referring to Dworshak Dam maybe. I’m pretty familiar with that area and I don’t know of another dam on the North Fork.

    There was a LOT of concern with Dworshak when it was filling. Elk were killed by the rising water and the ice when they tried to walk across it — coyotes had a field day and the local papers were filled with articles about it.

  18. Yes,

    Reading the old articles in the papers, I think Dworshak was at a site called Bruce’s Eddy, but it got named after an Idaho politician.

    When the dam filled, elk and deer came down to their wintering ground and found a partly frozen lake. They walked out on it and got stuck in the ice.

    Unlike the hype about the nasty wolves, the coyotes did come down and slowly eat the trapped animals alive.

  19. Barb Rupers says:

    Dworshak is at the site called Bruce’s Eddy on the NF of the Clewarwater.

    While taking a geology course at the U of I in 1955 the class went on a field trip to the area to observe contacts between the older, metamorphic rocks and the Miocene Basalts. We made a stop at Bruce’s Eddy to see the site for a dam proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers and strongly supported by Senator Dworshack. There were core samples at the site which some of the students added to their collections. The opinion of most of the class was against the dam.

    I didn’t like it because it ruined the river for floating. Logging was accelerated in the drainage in order to get the logs down the river before the dam went in. Roads were built along the river to enable access. There had been a great stretch of river about 30 miles long between Bungalow and Canyon with no roads that was my favorite for rivertrips; lots of trout, steelhead, salmon, rapids, potholes, sandbars . . . . all ruined, IMO, in the name of progress.


October 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey