Protecting Fish

PGE has invested in innovative infrastructure to protect the salmon, steelhead and other species that call the Clackamas home. Our success stems from our team’s profound connection to the Clackamas River Basin — and our sincere commitment to protecting fish.

In 2012, PGE fish biologist Garth Wyatt brought his idea to life — a first-of-its-kind hands-free adult fish sorter that separates wild fish from hatchery fish without handling or anesthetizing. 

Now in operation at North Fork Dam, the hands-free fish sorter fosters healthy and robust wild fish populations upriver and strong hatchery management downriver.

Innovating for fish protection

Signs of success

With our dedicated team of biologists in the lead, we’ve built passage systems around dams that fish can easily navigate and collaborated with our partners to restore habitats. Our success shows in the growing number of wild fish migrating up and down the Clackamas, and in shifts in fish behavior and survival rates including:

  • Higher survival rates: Early measurements show fish are migrating downstream past PGE dams safer and faster, and we are well on our way to meeting our 97 percent passage goal.
  • Earlier upstream migration: Spring Chinook are traveling past the dams a month earlier — and reaching the ocean when water temperatures are cooler and healthier for fish.
  • Return to old spawning grounds: Thanks to habitat restoration, Chinook are spawning in a tributary near Oak Grove for the first time in 90 years.

We monitor fish on the Clackamas continually to measure the impacts of the new infrastructure and develop ongoing solutions for ever greater stewardship.