Bonneville Dam Tour

Bonneville Dam (both Washington and Oregon sides) & the Bonneville Fish Hatchery on the Columbia River

Date & Duration:
June 22, 2017
7:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Bagged lunch provided.

Trip Fee:

Important Details:
This trip will depart from the Corvallis Hilton Garden Inn at 7:00 AM, June 22, 2017. Once the tour of Bonneville Dam is completed, the buses will take passengers back to the Corvallis Hilton Garden Inn in Corvallis. For attendees wishing to stay near the Portland Airport for a flight the following day, the bus will stop at the Portland Airport Radisson Hotel.  The Radisson is near Cascade Station, where you will find many dining and shopping opportunities. The Radisson provides a free breakfast and airport shuttle.  For instructions on how to reserve a room a the Radisson, click here.  Make your reservations prior to May 21st, when the block of rooms will be released.

Non-US Citizens, including permanent legal residents and green card holders, wishing to join this tour must read below for important details.

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest Region of North America. The river is 2,000 km long and its drainage basin is roughly the surface area of France.  By volume, the Columbia River is the fourth largest river in the United States and has the most flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific Ocean, providing an opportunity for hydroelectric generation.  The 14 hydroelectric dams on the main stem of the Columbia and many more on its tributaries produce more than 44% of the hydroelectric generation of the U.S.  Construction of Bonneville Dam, 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon, began in 1934.

Bonneville Dam is a concrete, gravity run-of-the-river hydroelectric dam with a height of 60 m and a length of 820 m.  Throughout the dam’s existence, passage facilities have been built and improved, as fishery scientists’ knowledge of the impacts of the dam upon migratory fish and potential remedies evolved.  This tour is an outstanding opportunity to learn how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their partners provide upstream and downstream passage for migratory fish.  We will tour three sections of the dam; the Washington shore fish ladder, adult fish facility, and smolt monitoring facility.

Washington Shore Fish Ladder: Powerhouse 2 is located on the Washington State side of Bonneville Dam.  A large amount of the river flow passes through Powerhouse 2.  The higher flow attracts fish toward the Washington Shore fish ladders.

Adult Fish Facility: Attached to the Washington Shore fish ladder, this facility allows sampling of adult salmon and steelhead as they migrate upstream.  Staff members weigh, measure, and determine the age of the fish.  Collected data are used in fish passage studies and for fisheries management.

Smolt Monitoring Facility: Operated by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, researchers at the Smolt Monitoring Facility sample outmigrating smolts to determine age, species, size and condition – including length and weight. This information is published and helps fish managers understand the timing and characteristics of outmigrating fish – and helps forecast adult salmon returns. Smolt monitoring also helps identify any problems occurring in the juvenile bypass system, allowing a fast resolution of any issues.

Other tour and discussion topics include passage accommodations for lamprey and aquatic invasive species impacts upon passage, monitoring, and control.

Lamprey ascend Bonneville ladderBonneville Dam and Lock

Non-US Citizens Requirement:
To obtain the necessary security clearance to visit the hydroelectric project, non-US citizens, including permanent legal residents and green card holders, are required the provide the following information before May 8, 2017.

  • Visitor's Name 
  • Visitor's Title 
  • Visitor's Organization 
  • Visitor’s Nationality 
  • Copy (in color) of 2 main pages of the visitor’s passport (which are the picture ID page and the page above)
  • Copy of Visa or Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) - if available

Please send this information by email directly to Dr. Guillermo Giannico ( If you are unsure of whether or not you will take the tour, we recommend that you submit the information now rather than waiting until it is too late.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.