A conceptual idea of a volitional fish ladder at Opal Springs. View in PDF.
Opal Springs is in a narrow canyon over 800 feet deep. The diversion dam is in the foreground, the hydroelectric facility is downstream.
The diversion dam from ground level. The fish ladder would be on the left. The water intake for the hydro project is on the right.
The dam diverts the Crooked River into pipes on the right, delivering water to spin a turbine. At normal flows most of the river is diverted, leaving 50 CFS of water directly below the dam. The river is back to full strength below the hydro facility.
Anadromous fish make it to a pool at the bottom of the spillway where the current guides them into a trap. Trapped fish are then transported over the dam.
As part of installing the ladder, the diversion wall will be raised 2 to 6 feet using inflatable bladders to increase the amount of water in the pool. This will provide water to fill the fish ladder which will be installed in the foreground. It will also provide a mechanism to supply additional water when needed to assist with downstream passage and as additional attraction flow to guide upstream migrants.
The Crooked River immediately upstream from the project is a healthy, spring fed river, with year-round cool, clean water.
The pool looking downstream. The water intake for the hydro project can be seen on the left.