The Removal of Savage Rapids Dam on the Rogue River

The removal of Savage Rapids Dam had been a topic for years.  Justification was that it would help the salmon get up the river with one less obstacle.  Many landowners opposed it, because it would mean loss of land.  But, finally, a decision was made to remove the dam.  The process took a few years, and was not without its drama.  While removing part of the dam, an enormous wave was created in the center with fierce hydraulics and a boulder beneath the surface.  The video below shows how turbulent the river was at this point of the dam’s demolition.

When the dam was completed, Savage Rapids came into being, while it had been absent for about 100 years.  At first the rapids was Class3 as it rushed over a narrow ledge, capturing one human life in the process.  But later, the river widened its banks, and the one menacing rapid had become a mild Class 2 with a few boulders to dodge.  The river had changed once again.

 

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About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

2 Responses to The Removal of Savage Rapids Dam on the Rogue River

  1. What an interesting video. I enjoyed it very much. Was the main purpose of the removal protection of the salmon? I can imagine this was a really big deal after so many years! Very interesting, Robert.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Debra. It was a colossal battle that lasted for years.

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