The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $23.9 million contract March 22 to Slayden Construction Group of Stayton, Ore., to rebuild the Minto Fish Collection Facility, downstream of Detroit Dam near Stayton. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will continue to operate the facility.
The Minto facility is one way the Corps is implementing the National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2008 Willamette Project Biological Opinion, said Chris Budai, project manager for the rebuild of Minto Fish Collection Facility. Improving the facility also supports the long-term recovery plan for Upper Willamette spring chinook and steelhead being developed by the state of Oregon and NMFS.
The primary purpose of the Minto facility is to safely collect, hold, sort, and transport adult North Santiam River spring chinook and steelhead, Budai said. The existing facility was harmful to ESA-listed fish, posed safety hazards to employees, and could not be operated during high river flows. The North Santiam is a tributary to the Willamette River and, ultimately, the Columbia River.
The facility will provide upstream fish passage via a trap-and-haul operation to evaluate the potential to re-establish fish populations in habitat upstream of Detroit Dam. It also is vital to the Corps existing hatchery mitigation program and operation of Marion Forks Hatchery.
Slayden Construction will begin construction in mid-April. The Corps expects the facility to be operational by the spring of 2013.