Cline Falls Dam Removal Project
The 100-year old Cline Falls Dam was located at river mile 144.5 on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon, approximately four miles west of the City of Redmond. The former hydroelectric facility included a number of structures that were used for hydroelectric power generation up until 2006, including the six-foot high / 320-foot long, concrete diversion dam that spanned the width of the river. Additional structures included the headgates, diversion canal, parking areas, and buildings.
The UDWC collaborated with the Central Oregon Irrigation District to hire a consultant to remove the dam in 2017. Removing the dam atop of Cline Falls has restored the fall to their natural condition, a whereby fish can pass over the falls at certain flows during limited times of the year. The dam removal now allows free downstream flow of sediment that was once trapped behind the dam thus helping to improve the quality and quantity of habitat in the river. In addition the removal of the dam and associated infrastructure has restored the natural scenic value of the Deschutes River canyon in a popular recreational area (including adjacent BLM and State Parks land).