Monday, October 08, 2012

Dog Beach & Dam Removal, Sandy River Delta, October 7, 2012

Took a quick stroll on Sunday with the big one, a friend of his, and the dog out to “Dog Beach” on the Sandy River.  Nothing much to report.  Very busy, many dogs, great weather.  The river is very low right now and warm enough in the shallows for some wading and swimming.

One thing I might note is that it looks like they will be removing the old dam along the Thousand Acres Road, permanently re-routing the Sandy to its historic channel, turning Sundial Island back into an island, and eliminating foot access to that part of the park. 

According to the Friends of the Sandy River Delta, while the comment period is still open on the dam removal, it looks like it is pretty much “a done deal.”

I plan on spending some time out there while I still can.

Dam.  1000 Acres Road.  Sandy River Delta.  Columbia River National Scenic Area.  Troutdale, Oregon.  August 14, 2011.

Links & References

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area - News & Events:

…flow will be restored to the historic main channel of the Sandy River at the delta to provide year-round access for fish to this channel while eliminating stranding potential by providing continuous flow. This will be done by removing a dam built in the 1930’s and excavating a pilot channel within the historic main channel. The Corps and the Portland Water Bureau will fund Dam removal. Upon project completion, Sandy River water will flow year round through the historic main channel and the present-day main channel.

Agencies to remove Sandy River dike to improve salmon, steelhead habitat |

To help funnel smelt up the Sandy River each spring, the Oregon Game Commission in 1938 finished a huge rock and wood dike to close off one of two river channels. The result was a single channel to the west of a large delta of low-lying land where the Sandy flows into the Columbia River.

And it appeared to work. Commercial and recreational fishing for smelt prospered for years.

But now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with help from the Portland Water Bureau, wants to remove the dike and reopen more than 1.4 miles of the old channel through the delta to restore habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead.


Photo from Oregon Live / U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers: “This photo from the 1930s shows the 750-foot-long dike that dammed off the east channel of the Sandy River near its mouth. The structure today is not readily recognizable, as it is covered in silt with rock laid on top. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to remove the dike next summer.”

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Historic Sandy River Channel and Dam (along 1000 Acres Road).

SRD_MUD : Message: Re: Road Building at the Delta - possibly starting Monday 9/10:

The dam removal is likely a done deal, despite public comments, and our deep desires to somehow preserve access to the island. We do expect to hear from the Army Corp regarding the public comments they received and their final plans by the end of the year, but the feedback we've received so far from the Forest Service, is that the plans are likely to move ahead. Needless to say, we still are advocating for some means of continued access.

Rubble: Photo of the Day by A. F. Litt: May 21, 2012, Confluence Project Bird Blind by Maya Lin:

Confluence Project Bird Blind. Sandy River Delta. Troutdale, Oregon. February 27, 2011. Photo of the day, May 21, 2012.

Sandy River Delta Hike - Hiking in Portland, Oregon and Washington:

This hike explores a piece of 1400 acres that the state calls a "dispersed recreation site", north of Interstate 84 and east of the Sandy River. There aren't any official trails here, but the place abounds with old roads and footpaths. This hike is a perfect getaway for those without a lot of time. It's also a great place to exercise your canine buddies. On my last trip there were more dogs than people!

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area - Sandy River Delta Trailhead:

Within quick driving distance of Troutdale, Gresham and Portland, this is a recreation paradise. Great views, extensive trail system, bird blind and easy mountain biking make this site a quick retreat from the city. Also known as Thousand Acres.  The Sandy River Delta is a multi-use recreation area open to a variety of recreation uses including equestrian use, hiking, biking, and hunting in the allowable area.

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Sandy Rivers said...

How is it now? How is Sandy River now?

A. F. Litt said...

The dam was breached recently and Sundial Island is an island again.

Mario D'boro said...

I just hope this project did help improve marine life sanctuaries exists in the area.