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Beaver gnaws on flashboards at dam, escapes trap at Opal Springs, and it's caught on camera.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - A beaver, which had been chewing on the flashboards on the fish passage, was caught on camera at Opal Springs. Later, the beaver was caught in a trap, but escaped within 12 minutes.
Despite challenges over the past month that have included a beaver gnawing on flashboards at the Opal Springs hydro dam, and a giant rock that fell into the Crooked River next to the dam, a fish ladder project is still well on its way to completion later this year.

The $11 million project to aid in the reintroduction of anadromous salmon and steelhead in the Deschutes Basin, got underway at the Opal Springs Hydroelectric Project in April 2018.

"The project is the result of many years of discussions with fish agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and other interested parties who have sought fish passage since the fish were reintroduced to the basin in 2012," said Ed Pugh, general manager of the Deschutes Valley Water District, which operates the project near the source of its water.

"Financially, we are 63 percent completed on the project," Pugh estimated earlier this month. "The contract was awarded for $9.245 million. So far we have paid $5.892 million."

About two-thirds of the total is funded by grants, he said, adding, "Physically, we are closer to 75 percent done. RSCI (Record Steel and Construction Inc.) estimates they may be done in August 2019."

Click here to read the rest of the story in the Madras Pioneer.

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