The Upper Rogue River near PacifiCorp's hydroelectric facilities in Prospect, Oregon provides a range of public recreation opportunities. Specifically, the Rogue River bypassed reach between North Fork Dam and the Prospect Nos. 1 and 2 Powerhouses provides opportunities for whitewater recreation, depending on the time of year and the availability of water.
Article 415 of PacifiCorp's license for the Project issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 8, 2008 contains a requirement that PacifiCorp "provide a daily morning flow reading for the head of the Rogue River bypassed reach by a telephone recording from March 1 through Labor Day throughout the term of the license for the purposes of alerting whitewater boaters of flow conditions in the bypassed reach."
The portion of the Rogue River natural channel between North Fork Dam and the Prospect No. 2 Powerhouse is commonly called the North Fork Rogue Bypass. Releases from the dam provide flow through this natural channel at all times of the year. Flows may vary due to a number of factors including weather, upstream flows, and dam operations. The flows reported here are recorded at a gage near the OR Highway 62 bridge, approximately 0.3 miles below the dam.
Disclaimer: PacifiCorp is by no means promoting or inviting the public to participate in whitewater boating activities in the Rogue River bypassed reach. These water management data are estimates of river flows. Please beware and use caution, as actual river flows may be vastly different because of operational changes at the dams or due to weather conditions. Remember: These are estimates only and are subject to extreme change without notice.
PLEASE NOTE : The Prospect Nos. 1, 2 & 4 Bypassed Reach is a Class 5 Boating Opportunity
The Prospect Nos. 1, 2 & 4 Bypassed Reach is rated Class 5, appropriate for expert boaters only. Class 5* whitewater is described as extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids, which expose a paddler to added risk. Drops may contain large, unavoidable waves and holes or steep, congested chutes with complex, demanding routes. Rapids may continue for long distances between pools, demanding a high level of fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, or difficult to reach. At the high end of the scale, several of these factors may be combined. Scouting is recommended but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult, even for experts. A very reliable Eskimo-roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential.
*American Whitewater International Scale of Whitewater Difficulty
In 2013, a new take-out location was established on the river – right below the lower (Prospect No. 1) powerhouse. Boaters should eddy-out below the lower powerhouse and ascend a new trail from the eddy up to the powerhouse access road. The new take-out eliminates the need for boaters to walk behind the upper (Prospect No. 2) powerhouse.
PacifiCorp has installed additional equipment to both Prospect No. 1 and No. 2 powerhouse tailraces to better dissipate the water discharge from the powerhouses. However, water under high pressure may still be discharged from the powerhouses at any time. Please pass through the powerhouse tailrace areas quickly and observe all boat barriers and safety devices.
Flows below the dam may change substantially without warning. PacifiCorp assumes no responsibility for damage to equipment or personal injury resulting from any change in flow.
The Class 5 rating is intended to serve as guidance only. Whitewater boaters should assess their ability to run the Rogue River Bypass based on their individual skill level, river flow level, and weather conditions.
Disclaimer: PacifiCorp is by no means promoting or inviting the public to participate in whitewater boating activities on the Rogue River Bypassed Reach.
In addition to providing daily flow information in the Project bypassed reach, Articles 413 and 414 of PacifiCorp’s license for the Project required PacifiCorp to develop a Whitewater Boating Flow Release Study Plan and a Whitewater Boating Access Monitoring Study Plan within six months of license issuance (April 8, 2008). The purpose of these plans was to identify a schedule and precise flow to release between 85 cubic feet per second (cfs) and 500 (cfs) to facilitate whitewater boating activities and to determine the feasibility of providing whitewater boating access to the Rogue River near the Prospect No. 2 powerhouse.
On December 30, 2008, PacifiCorp, licensee for the Prospect Nos. 1, 2 and 4 Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 2630), filed a plan entitled “Prospect Whitewater Feasibility Study Plan.” The plan combined both the Whitewater Boating Flow Release Plan (flow release plan) required by Article 413 and the Whitewater Boating Access Monitoring Plan (access monitoring plan) required by Article 414. The Study Plan was approved by FERC on June 23, 2009. Per FERC license requirements, the plan proposed to release water between 85 and 500 cfs from North Fork Diversion Dam on two weekend days each in the months of July, August and September, along with the Independence Day and Labor Day holidays in the first three years after license issuance. Boaters were then asked to fill out a short online survey questionnaire to record their experience and preferences for the various flows.
In June of 2012, PacifiCorp filed the Prospect Whitewater Boating Flow Release and Whitewater Boating Access Monitoring Study Three-Year Summary Report. The Report describes the study methods, results, and makes recommendations for providing whitewater boating opportunities for the remainder of the license period. Links to the Summary Report with recommendations and the 2020 through 2021 whitewater boating release dates are provided below.