spawning in gravel below Sod Springs Dam

The North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project is located in south-central Oregon on the west side of the Cascade mountain range in Douglas County, about 60 miles (97 km) east of Roseburg. The Project is located on the North Umpqua River and two of its tributaries, Clearwater River and Fish Creek.

Project Name North Umpqua
LIHI Certificate Number 69
LIHI Effective and
Expiration Dates
December 7, 2014
December 7, 2022
Owner PacifiCorp Energy
State Oregon
Location Located on the North Umpqua River and two of its tributaries, Clearwater River and Fish Creek, in south-central Oregon on the west side of the Cascade Moutain range in Douglas County.
Installed Capacity Total: 185.5 MW
Lemolo No. 1: 29,000 kW
Lemolo No. 2: 33,000 kW
Clearwater No. 1: 15,000 kW
Clearwater No. 2: 26,000 kW
Toketee: 42,500 kW
Fish Creek: 11,000 kW
Slide Creek: 18,000 kW
Soda Springs: 11,000 kW
Average Annual Generation Total: 876.6 GWh
Lemolo No. 1: 143.7 GWh
Lemolo No. 2: 170.8 GWh
Clearwater No. 1: 55.2 GWh
Clearwater No. 2: 59.5 GWh
Toketee: 231.8 GWh
Fish Creek: 55.8 GWh
Slide Creek: 65.4 GWh
Soda Springs: 94.2 GWh
Facility Type Peaking
FERC No. 1927

The headwaters of the North Umpqua River are located at an elevation of over 1,830 m on the western slope of the High Cascade Mountain Range near Maidu Lake. Over 20% of the North Umpqua River watershed lies above 1700 m and the river drains about 470 square miles before joining the South Umpqua River west of Roseburg. Both the North and South Umpqua Rivers have a rugged topography with steep canyons and rapid elevation changes, and both have been heavily influenced by volcanic activity. The drainages of the North and South Umpqua Rivers together make up about 2/3 of the greater Basin drainage, and each river is about 170 km long. The mainstem Umpqua River flows in a northwesterly direction another 180 km to the ocean. Together, the three rivers form one of the longest coastal basins in Oregon, approximately 340 km in length, with a drainage area of over 12,200 sq. km. In 1988 the United States Congress designated approximately 33 miles (53 km) of the North Umpqua River as part of the National Wild and Scenic River program.

The North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project was constructed between 1947 and 1956. It consists of a series of dams and canals that divert water to the following eight developments, each of which has a powerhouse and a dam:

  • Lemolo No. 1
  • Lemolo No. 2
  • Clearwater No. 1
  • Clearwater No. 2
  • Toketee
  • Fish Creek
  • Slide Creek
  • Soda Springs

The project occupies 3,085 acres, including 2,491 acres administered by the Forest Service, 128 acres administered by BLM, and 466 acres of non-federally-owned land. It encompasses a total waterway length of 37.3 miles (21.7 miles of canal, 9.8 miles of flume, and 5.8 miles of penstock and tunnels). The project includes 117.5 miles of transmission line in seven segments, five of which interconnect project generators and two of which deliver project power to PacifiCorp’s bulk transmission grid at the Dixonville substation.

Slide Creek diversion

Slide Creek diversion

Lemolo No. 1 Development

The Lemolo No. 1 Development is the furthest upstream development in the North Umpqua project. Lemolo No. 1 includes a 120-foot-high, 885-foot-long rockfill diversion dam with concrete facing. It has a 33-foot-long gated, ogee-crested spillway section and a 67-foot-long ungated, ogee-crested concrete spillway section equipped with 3-foot-high flashboards. The dam impounds a 419-acre reservoir, known as Lemolo Lake, with a total storage of 11,752 acre-feet. 16,310 feet of gunite lined and concrete canal and flumes extend from the Lemolo dam to the concrete penstock intake and forebay, which has a trashrack and 15.9-foot-wide Taintor gate. The steel penstock is 7,338-feet-long with a diameter ranging from 9.7 to 7.0 feet at the powerhouse. The powerhouse is located on the North Umpqua River at the mouth of Warm Springs Creek, 4.5 miles downstream of the dam at Lemolo Lake. The reinforced concrete powerhouse contains a single vertical shaft Francise-type turbine-generator with a rated capacity of 29,000 kilowatts (kW). Storage in Lemolo Lake is used to control floods, increase power generation when demand is high in the late fall, and augment flows in the river downstream of the eight developments.

Lemolo No. 2 Development

The Lemolo No. 2 diversion dam is approximately 190 feet downstream of the Lemolo No. 1 powerhouse. This concrete gravity dam is 350-feet long, 25-feet-high and is un-gated and ogee- crested with flashboards. It impounds a 1.4-acre pond with no active reservoir storage. Water is drawn through a concrete intake structure equipped with fish screens, fish bypass, trashrack, Taintor gate and side channel spillway. The 69,503 feet of canal and flumes extend from the diversion dam to a 24.2-acre earthen forebay. The forebay has a total maximum storage capacity of 230.6 acre-feet. A 3,975-foot-long steel penstock with diameter ranging from 10.5 to 7.3 feet leads to the powerhouse. The reinforced concrete powerhouse contains a single vertical shaft Francis-type turbine-generator with a rated capacity of 33,000 kW. The Lemolo No. 2 powerhouse is approximately 3,500 feet upstream of Toketee Lake.

Lemolo 2 Powerhouse

Lemolo 2 Powerhouse

Clearwater No. 1 Development

The Clearwater No. 1 Development is the uppermost development on the Clearwater River, which has its confluence with the North Umpqua River near the Toketee dam. The Clearwater No. 1 diversion dam is located approximately 8.1 miles upstream of Toketee Lake. An earthfill dam, the Clearwater No. 1 dam is 17-feet-high, 1,426-feert-long and includes a 102-foot-long, un-gated concrete spillway with flashboards. It impounds 11.8-acre Stump Lake, which has a maximum storage capacity of 30.2 acre-feet. The accompanying concrete intake structure is equipped with a trashrack, timber gate and side channel spillway. The 13,037 miles of canal and flumes extend from Stump Lake dam to a 16.3-acre clay-lined excavated forebay and gated concrete intake structure. The forebay has a total maximum storage capacity of 120.8 acre-feet. A 4,863-foot-long penstock with diameter ranging from 6.7 to 5.0 feet leads to the powerhouse. The reinforced concrete powerhouse contains a single vertical shaft Francis-type turbine- generator with a rated capacity of 15,000 kW. The powerhouse discharges directly into the Clearwater No. 2 diversion.

Clearwater No. 2 Development

Located 140 feet downstream from the Clearwater No. 1 powerhouse on the Clearwater River, the Clearwater No. 2 Development diversion dam is an 18-foot-high, 157-foot-long structure. The Clearwater No. 2 dam is made out of concrete and contains a concrete spillway section and an intake with a trashrack. The dam impounds a 1.2-acre settling pond with no active storage. The 31,235 feet of canal and flumes extend from the diversion dam to an 8.6-acre clay-lined excavated forebay and gated intake structure. The forebay has a total maximum storage capacity of 70.7 acre-feet. A 1,169-foot-long steel penstock with diameter ranging from 7.2 to 6.3 feet carries water to the powerhouse. The reinforced concrete powerhouse is located on the North Umpqua River at Toketee Lake. It contains a single vertical shaft Francis-type turbine-generator with a rated capacity of 26,000 kW.

Fish Creek Diversion (1)

Fish Creek Diversion

Toketee Development

The Toketee Development, located at the confluence of the Clearwater and North Umpqua Rivers, includes a 58-foot-high 1,381 earthfill embankment dam on the North Umpqua River. The dam has a 310-foot-long concrete spillway section and it impounds a 96.9-acre reservoir known as Toketee Lake.  The reservoir has a total maximum storage capacity of 1,051 acre-feet. The 6,994 feet of wood-stave pipe and concrete-lined and unlined tunnel extend from Toketee dam to the penstock. The penstock consists of a 1,067-foot-long steel conduit that splits into three approximately 158-footlong sections near its downstream end. The powerhouse contains three equal sized, vertical shaft Francis-type turbine-generators that have a combined installed capacity of 42,500 kW. The powerhouse is located on the North Umpqua River approximately two miles downstream of Toketee Lake, which serves as the forebay for the development and provides active storage to regulate flow through the powerhouse.

Fish Creek Development

The Fish Creek Development diversion dam is located on Fish Creek, approximately 6 miles upstream of the creek’s confluence with the North Umpqua River. The 6.5-foot-high, 133-foot- long concrete dam includes a 30-foot-long, ogee spillway section, a fishway and sluiceway. The dam impounds a 3-acre settling pond with no active storage. The 25,662 feet of canal and flumes extend from the diversion dam to a 9.3-acre clay-lined excavated forebay and gated intake structure.  The forebay has a maximum total storage capacity of 110.3 acre-feet and is used to reregulate water from off-peak to peak demand periods. A 2,358-foot-long steel penstock with diameter ranging from 4.5 to 3 feet carries water to the powerhouse. The reinforced concrete powerhouse contains a single vertical shaft impulse-type turbine-generator set with a rated capacity of 11,000 kW. The Fish Creek powerhouse is located on the North Umpqua River between the Toketee powerhouse and the Slide Creek diversion dam.

Slide Creek Development

The Slide Creek Development includes a diversion dam located on the North Umpqua 900 feet downstream of the Toketee powerhouse. The 30-foot-high, 183-foot-long concrete dam includes a 72 –foot-long, gated concrete ogee spillway section and a gated, concrete intake structure with trashrack. The dam impounds a 2-acre reservoir with a maximum total storage capacity of 43 acre-feet. The 9,653 feet of canal and flumes extend from the dam to a concrete penstock intake structure that includes trashracks and a Taintor gate. The steel penstock that carriers the water to the powerhouse is 374-foot-long and 12 feet in diameter. The reinforced concrete powerhouse contains a single vertical shaft Francis-type turbine-generator with a rated capacity of 18,000 kW. The powerhouse is located on the North Umpqua 1.3 miles upstream of Soda Springs dam.

Soda Springs Development

The Soda Springs Development includes a diversion dam located on the North Umpqua River about 1.3 miles downstream of the Slide Creek powerhouse. The 309-foot-long, 77-foot-high concrete arch dam includes a 72-foot-long, gated, concrete ogee spillway section. It impounds a 31.5-acre reservoir with a total maximum storage capacity of 411.6 acre-feet.  A 2,112-foot-long steel pipe extends from the intake at the diversion dam to an 82-foot-high, 30-foot-diameter surge tank. A 168-foot-long, 12-foot-diameter steel penstock extends from the surge tank to a reinforced concrete powerhouse. The powerhouse has a single vertical shaft Francis-type turbine- generator set with a rated capacity of 11,000 kW. The storage capacity of the Soda Springs reservoir is used to ensure a minimum flow in the North Umpqua downstream of the development.

Scheduling of power resources is coordinated daily based on factors such as reservoir storage, snow and groundwater conditions, system load, availability of other resources, and streamflow requirements.  Adjustments to this schedule occur as load and resource conditions dictate. Daily inflows to the North Umpqua River system are used by the hydroelectric project to meet the generation system requirements while maintaining project minimum flows, reservoir levels, and storage requirements.

The project operates in a peaking mode, generating more electricity during high demand periods, typically from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. Storage capacity is used at each of the reservoirs and forebays for this purpose, but relatively little storage is available at the developments, with the exception of Lemolo Lake, which is the primary source of water storage for shaping flows to daily peaking operations for downstream developments. Clearwater Nos. 1 and 2 and Lemolo No. 2 developments usually are operated on a continuous basis because of the limited storage capacity in these developments. The Lemolo No. 1 development is also operated continuously although at very low generating levels during non-peak times. The Soda Springs Development is used for reregulation of flows from upstream developments and is operated to release a baseflow based on ambient watershed runoff estimates and the goal of maintaining a relatively stable flow to the North Umpqua River below the Soda Springs powerhouse.

Boundary Pool

Boundary Pool

Fish Creek Diversion (1)

Fish Creek Diversion

Certification History

August 20, 2015: As per the decision of Executive Director Michael J. Sale, upon satisfactory demonstration by PacifiCorp of the project-specific condition requirements for the North Umpqua certification issued on June 26, 2015, the term of the North Umpqua certification shall now be for eight (8) years, expiring on December 7, 2022. Please refer to the PacifiCorp response to Condition 1 documentation below.

June 26, 2015: Executive Director Michael J. Sale, using authority delegated from the LIHI Governing Board, has determined that the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. P-1927) continues to satisfy the LIHI Certification Criteria. The effective certification date for the North Umpqua Project is December 7, 2014 for a five (5) year term, which will expire on December 7, 2019. This term of certification includes one facility-specific condition, as follows:

  • Condition 1. The owner of the North Umpqua facilities shall provide LIHI with a description of the current status and use of funds from the Mitigation Fund and the Tributary Enhancement Fund that were part of the Settlement Agreement for the most recent FERC licensing. In particular, this description shall identify the lands and waters that are benefiting from the funds and be sufficient to determine if these funds are achieving the ecological and recreational equivalent of land protection of the buffer zone referred to in Question D.1. This information will be used by LIHI staff to determine if the N. Umpqua certification qualifies for three additional years in its term. The description of the mitigation funds is due to LIHI within 60 days of issuance of the new certification.

February 3, 2015: The Low Impact Hydropower Institute received a complete and timely application for a new term of Low Impact Certification for the North Umpqua hydroelectric project on November 20, 2014.  Please see the application files below.

March 24, 2011: The North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project has been certified as low impact for a five year term, effective December 7, 2009 and expiring December 7, 2014.

March 25, 2010: LIHI received a comment letter from PacifiCorp in response to earlier public comments. This letter is available in PDF form in the “Files” section below (“Pending Appl for Low Impact Hydro Cert”).

February 9, 2010: LIHI received comments from Doug Heiken of the Oregon Wild. The letter is available in PDF form in the “Files” section below (“Oregon Wild Comments NUHP”).

February 8, 2010: LIHI received comments from the following people:

Kelly Crispen, University of Montana (“Kelly Crispen NUHP Comments”)
Cindy Haws, Umpqua Watersheds (“Umpqua Watersheds ltr to LIHI”)
Mary Scurlock, American Rivers, Pacific Rivers Council, Native Fish Society, and the Steamboaters (“PRC-AR-NFS-SB Comments to LIHI on North Umpqua FERC #1927”)

These letters are available in PDF form in the “Files” section below.

February 7, 2010: The public comment period on the application for certification has been closed.

February 4, 2010: LIHI received a comment letter from USFWS. The letter is available in PDF form in the “Files” section below (“Signed-LIHI-ltr-2010.pdf”).

December 7, 2009: PacifiCorp Energy has submitted an application for certification of the North Umpqua Hydroelectric Project. The public comment period will remain open for 60 days.


Files: