Hyrdro Dam proposed on S. Fork Skykomish

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by scottr, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    As a side note, I fished the stretch of Youngs creek several times in the late 90's and the early part of last decade before they put the Hydro intake there.

    It was an absolutely fantastic fishing spot with a set of 3 large waterfalls with splash pools that were packed wall-to-wall with 12" cuts and brookies.

    I imagine they still are, but the property is now a "No Tresspassing" area.
     
  2. Matt Baerwalde

    Matt Baerwalde ...

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    Actually you should take a look again. Puget Power is not involved; it's SnoPUD. And what's a weir? A low-head dam. Behind this dam, there is an impoundment (smaller than Lake Mead, yes, but an impoundment nonetheless). That's what the weir (inflatable dam) is for--to back water up and divert it into the bypass. It does not suck up water; water flows into it. The bypass water would then flow through the turbines and be put back in the river below Sunset Falls.

    SnoPUD and FERC will still receive comments, but the NWPCC's comment period for the update to their Fish and Wildlife Program (which includes the SF Sky as a Protected Area previously characterized as too important to fish and wildlife to mess with) ended yesterday.
     
  3. Matt Baerwalde

    Matt Baerwalde ...

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    You call Canyon Falls insignificant, I call it spectacular. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Seems like as long as you can catch a fish in low flow at the base of a falls that the integrity of the falls themselves matters not to you. C'est la vie, I suppose. And "minor" dewatering? What's your threshold for moderate or significant dewatering? This project would have the capacity to, and would indeed, divert a majority of the SF Sky's flow around the bypass reach for a portion of the year.

    Your "opinion" about LWD and sediment retention is mistaken. Have you participated in the proceedings or familiarized yourself with the PAD? If you had, you would have seen that SnoPUD is doing all they can to avoid keeping the necessary equipment (large booms) on site to move LWD over the weir. And you're wrong about about them "constantly" moving things from the intakes. Just not the case. It's the impoundment itself that changes the frequency and duration of those times when bedload is mobilized over the weir site.

    I'm also curious which people object to PSE's Snoqualmie Falls project because of diminished beauty. Never heard of that. There was a court case that had to do with religious freedom and the Falls as a Traditional Cultural Property. "Beauty" was not part of that case.
     
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  4. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    You're right that I haven't studied it that closely yet.. but I don't see how making the existing pre-falls pool slightly deeper is going to have any major impact on the relatively bedrock-lined stretch of riverbed in that area?

    LWD and the majority of the sediment that flushes through and will get flushed through will get moved during high water events that take place yearly. The diversion dam just isn't in a place where it's going to change river topography all that much.

    We'll also get the benefit of a guaranteed funding source for the fish trap.
     
  5. Matt Baerwalde

    Matt Baerwalde ...

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    Good to know your position even though you haven't studied it all that much. I have. There is no existing pool where the dam is proposed. It is a glide. I've stood on the site a number of times in the past few months. There is bedrock on one side, and a large gravel bar on the other. A dam there will change things both physical and intangible. This latter part is of particular importance to me. I enjoy recreating on and just knowing that free-flowing rivers exist. Some folks are more for developing everything that can make a kilowatt. Others don't seem to really give a crap as long as the fishing is good, be it artificially enhanced or otherwise.
     
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  6. rockthief

    rockthief Fly fishing = food for my soul

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    No no no no no no no no no no...
     
  7. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    I disagree. See below

    [​IMG]

    There is a substantial pool that has already formed upstream of the falls. All that will happen is the pool will become slightly deeper along with what will probably be a pretty neat looking dam and intake structure that will look like it has grown out of the bedrock.

    I just don't believe low-rise diversion dams have a substantial impact on portions of rivers that already have large falls and deep pools due to having carved down into the bedrock.

    What's the difference between a pool/spillway formed by nature vs one made by man when the one made by man is in a section of river that already has such a configuration?
     
  8. Joe Goodfellow

    Joe Goodfellow Active Member

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    We don't own earth we belong to it.
     
  9. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    The simple matter of boring the 19 foot diameter intake tunnel reaks of environmental disaster to me, for starters.
     
  10. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    The electricity running your computer that you are using to showcase your concerns has to come from somewhere.
     
  11. scottr

    scottr Active Member

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    Did you read the report? The dam will likely take 100 years to pay off at break even, generates power at 5 times the cost of what it would take to buy it on the open market ($166MWH vs an Open Market Cost of $33MWH), will only generate power for 10,500 homes (1% of SnoPUDs needed volume).

    We have 16 hydro dams in this state on the Columbia/Snake system alone, 8 wind factories, and one nuclear plant (that generates 10% of our power supply alone). Pretty sure SnoPUD could buy this electricity on the open market at a lower cost and save their rate payers a ton of money while not F-ing up a wild and scenic river. By example Douglas County negotiated a 20 year power purchase agreement and has the some of the lowest KWH power costs in the entire country.

    Stop polishing a turd.
     
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  12. Fishee

    Fishee Active Member

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    We just tore down the Elwha dam for a good reason, and now people want to build another somewhere else? WTF, no dams dammit!
     
  13. Matt Baerwalde

    Matt Baerwalde ...

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    Sir: that's not even where it goes! Look at the figures again. The dam would go upstream of Canyon Falls. You continue to spout your opinion about how you don't see how blank will affect blank, but you are obviously not well-informed about the project. Please go to the SnoPUD site, download the PAD, read it, COMPREHEND it, and then you would be prepared to add something substantive to this discussion. We are all very aware of your uninformed opinion by now. At the very least you could learn where the proposed dam site is.
     
  14. Matt Baerwalde

    Matt Baerwalde ...

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    They actually propose to blast the tunnel.
     
  15. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    You're right. I didn't actually read the proposal until you antagonized me into doing so.

    Now I can see that the weir is going to be adjustable and be a substantial distance upstream of the Dam.

    An adjustable weir and intake structure built into a rock hillside adjacent some houses?

    I am now so pro sunset falls generation facility that I am actually going to any community meetings they have and I am going to speak in favor of the Dam for free. Im going to do it for free!

    It can't have any less impact than what they have proposed. Hopefull they create a public access area and divert a substantial amount of water around the falls. This will make the existing splash pools easier to fish and prevent me from taking bullets from existing property owners.

    Sweeeeettttt!