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Dillon Dam’s removal by 2016 proposed

PENDLETON, Ore. – The Umatilla Basin Watershed Council has proposed removing the Dillon Dam by 2016 while maintaining irrigation rights established more than a century ago.

The diversion dam blocks fish passage up the Umatilla River between Echo and Stanfield.

Fish and lamprey ladders at the dam are often inaccessible due to low flows in the summertime or gravel bars deposited by high, sweeping flows earlier in the season, the East Oregonian reported.

Besides removing the barrier for salmon and steelhead, the project would reroute water for irrigation from another existing dam about 2 miles upstream.