Savage Rapids ladder back in business

ROGUE RIVER — Upstream passage for Rogue River fish is restored now that water is flowing again through the fish ladder at Savage Rapids Dam.

Salmon and steelhead will migrate up the ladder for the last time this year as construction crews prepared to remove the 88-year-old dam from the Rogue near the Jackson/Josephine county line.

The ladder had been dry for the past three weeks as the reservoir behind the dam was lowered so construction crews could build a temporary dam to dry out Savage Rapids Dam's concrete on the north end so it can be cut and removed.

That temporary dam, called a coffer dam, was completed Monday and the Grants Pass Irrigation District slowly began filling the upstream impoundment to its normal level. That effort was completed today.

Upstream anglers have awaited the ladder's return to usefulness so spring chinook salmon migration could resume unchecked.

— Mark Freeman

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