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The Daily Triplicate, Crescent City www.triplicate.com 4/16/10. Article from April 1960
Builders start job on Klamath dam
Carl Pyles, local manager for the California Oregon Power Company, said yesterday that preliminary work has started on the company’s $6 ½ million dollar dam and power plant on the Klamath River at Iron Gate.
This dam, which will give employment to about 250 people, is expected to be completed by sometime in 1961. Its length at the crest will be 685 feet and it will tower 173 feet above the bed of the stream.
During construction, the flow of the river will be diverted through a 16-foot horseshoe shaped tunnel 985 feet long. When completed, the dam will form a lake several miles upriver. The reservoir’s capacity will be approximately 50,000 acre feet.
In addition to constructing the dam, the company will build a powerhouse and adjacent substation, power lines, 6 ½ miles of roads to replace roads inundated by the lake and facilities for preservation of the river’s wildlife.
An agreement was recently reached between COPCO and California Department of Fish and Game clearing the way for the company to go ahead with the project. Under the agreement, the company will provide a fish ladder, holding tanks, pipelines and egg taking facilities below the powerhouse. After those have been completed to state specifications, they will be owned and operated by the state.
Under additional terms of the agreement, the dam will be operated as a regulatory dam to maintain an even flow downstream. Sportsmen say in time, this will save millions of fingerling size salmon from being grounded on the stream’s edges due to river fluctuation.
Construction of the Iron Gate dam and power plant a few miles upstream from Hornbrook, is the second in COPCO’s $70 million power development program on the Klamath River. The Big Bend plant upstream was completed in 1958.
While the dam site is about 200 miles upstream from the mouth, following the twisting course of the river, the project is being hailed as a boon to Del Norte because it furnishes additional assurance of adequate power for the area and because fishing in the already famous fishing river is expected to improve.
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