Wednesday August 16, 2023

Herald and News

One is almost gone. And work is underway to remove the three other Klamath River dams in 2024.

Work on Copco 2, the smallest of the four Klamath River hydroelectric dams being taken out as part of the nation’s largest dam removal project, is on a brief pause, but scheduled to be completed by late October.

Mark Bransom, CEO for Klamath River Renewal Corporation, which is overseeing dam removals, said the pause in deconstructing Copco 2 is being done to capture water from the Copco 1 dam and raise water levels before removing a diversion channel. He said most of the 35-foot-tall, 278-feet long concrete Copco 2 dam has been removed, noting, “There’s a bit of it still there.”

Removing Copco 2 is the first phase of a planned years-long effort to remove the dams and complete restoration efforts. Bransom and Ren Brownell, KRRC’s public information officer, said completing Copco 2 and the removal of the three other dams — Copco 1, Iron Gate and John C. Boyle — all in early 2024, is being done “very, very slowly” to reduce impacts on fish and sediment.

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