E. Oregon dam being removed to aid fish passage

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Work has started to remove a dam in Eastern Oregon that blocks salmon, steelhead and lamprey.

The East Oregonian reports ( that work to remove the Dillon Diversion Dam on the Umatilla River outside of Echo started earlier this month.

The dam built in 1915 served five landowners as part of the Dillon Irrigation Company with water rights dating to the 1890s.

But the landowners say the dam clogs with gravel and is difficult to maintain.

The landowners will now get their water from the upstream Westland Diversion Dam and a 2-mile pipeline.

The Bonneville Power Administration is paying $600,000 to remove the dam as part of its requirement to support viable fish populations.

The pipeline is being paid for in part with a $175,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife's Restoration and Enhancement Board.

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