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OK, this sounds like a dumb question, and maybe it is. But I'm still curious. We've all probably seen nature movies showing salmon leaping and fighting their way up cascading water. I imagine that this was how it looked at Willamette Falls before the falls were modified and the ladder was built. But what about an obstacle like Middle Falls on Eagle Creek. That drop has to be at least 25 feet straight down. The water comes over the top and dosen't hit anything till it reaches the water below. How is any fish supposed to make that leap? There is a ladder around the falls today. Pre-ladder was this as far as salmon and steelhead got?
 

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Have you seen the pics of Will Falls during the 96 flood?

Figure that some falls were always completely impassable to salmon (Shoshone, etc.), but a lot of them were accessible at flood stage, back when there still were floods that is....
 

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There were no fish going above the falls on Eagle Cr.

Also, there are probably more salmon in the Willamette now than there was before Oregon was settle for the simple fact some low water years the fish had a hard time getting over the falls.
 

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David, I beg to differ please. The falls were "reinforced" to funnel the flow. The low sections were built into the locks when we all arrived. The falls had a lot of lower gradient areas on the fringes. They neither look nor work the way they used to.

We had some great runs on the secondary rivers to the system. Some still fish these runs very quietly. :smile:

[ 05-09-2003, 10:46 PM: Message edited by: STGRule ]
 

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The short way to answer your question is they jumped..

Just recently i did a spawning survey on the South Fork Salmonberry on shich there are numerous falls some of them tall with only narrow shoots and only puddles to get any kind of running start.
Though there were many many redds below these falls all the fish we saw were above the falls.
I am sure at some water levels many falls are impassible but that is why having a diversified run timing is so important.. It ensures that all the availible habitat is utilized. If all the fish showed up at the same time and that time happened to be when an obstacle is impassible well you can see where that goes.

If you see a falls on some river you can almost assume that at some point in the course of a year it is passable. Some of them maybe only some years but almost everything is passable some of the time..
 

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***,

Cool pics!!

Isn't that Rainie falls in that larger one?
 

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Yup, that's it. Must have been early October as the leaves are just starting to turn.
 

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I guessed Rainie Falls, too. I once saw a raft with about 8 people shoot that falls in the spring when the water was higher...they came out upsidedown at the bottom but all survived. :wink:
 

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As for Willamette Falls, I've always heard the reason the only native runs above it are spring chinook and winter steelhead is because they had higher flows...by the time summer steelhead tried they couldn't pass in enough numbers to ever establish runs due to the lower flows.
 

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Yesterday afternoon while driving past a skating park, from the corner of my eye I saw a skateboard shoot into the air from out of a bowl with the rider nowhere in sight. It hung at the apex for just a second, quivering, then fell back. The next image into my mind was a childhood memory of watching salmon trying to clear Celilo Falls.
 

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Willamette Falls did not have concrete in the original design!

Fish were better in the good old days.

(They made it up Celilo on the Columbia too)
 

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Originally posted by GutshotApe:
I guessed Rainie Falls, too. I once saw a raft with about 8 people shoot that falls in the spring when the water was higher...they came out upsidedown at the bottom but all survived. :wink:
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Yes, I too have watched people run the falls..... :shocked: No thank you.

Twice I have bridged in the middle chute and decided I didn't need to be doing that either. Since then I have been happy to rope through the fish ladder.

I have seen a cool home movie of friend running UP Rainie in his power boat. He did just fine twice but when he attempted his third run, the boat flipped completly over backwards. :shocked: :shocked: Un-real. We almost lost a heck of a riverman and fisherman that time but he made it. This same guy has run from Gold Beach to Grave Creek many times. The last time I know of, about ten years ago, he did it in a fiberglass ski boat!! I have tried to get him committed but with no success............ :hoboy:
 
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