Today, we’re discussing John Day Lock and Dam, located 216 miles upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River.1 Construction began in 1968 and was completed in 1982.
The dam is “one of the top five largest hydropower dams in the United States! In addition to supplying hydropower to the Pacific Northwest Region, the John Day Dam provides a reliable water source from navigation, irrigation, flood mitigation, recreation, and fish passage.”2
The navigation lock is 650 feet long and 86 feet wide, with a max lift of 113 feet and average transit time of 30 minutes.3 It takes about 39 minutes to fill the lock to maximum capacity, and about 15 minutes to empty it.2
Fish ladders provide a passage for Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, Sockeye salmon, Steelhead trout, American shad, and Pacific lamprey throughout the year.2
Photos courtesy of PG 94 (Army Corps of Engineers Dam Construction Photographs).