The Dalles Dam, owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, is located on the Columbia River, 192 miles upstream from the Pacific Ocean, north of the old river channel, two miles east of The Dalles, Oregon. It is the second lowest dam on the Columbia; Bonneville Dam is the lowest. Although production of hydroelectric power is the main purpose of the dam today, safe navigation through treacherous reaches of the Columbia was also a significant factor in the original decision to build the dam. Power generated by The Dalles Dam is sold and distributed by the Bonneville Power Administration, a federal power marketing agencies within the U.S. Department of Energy. The dam consists of:

  • navigation lock
  • spillway
  • powerhouse
  • fish passage facilities

When the steel gates of the dam were closed in 1957, it inundated Celilo Village, one of the oldest continually inhabited aboriginal sites in North America, and submerged Celilo Falls, a steep set of falls and rapids that provided fertile fishing for the Native American Indians, and the central focus of their economy and culture. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers compensated the Indians for the loss of their homes, but did not purchase their fishing rights on the river, nor provide alternate fishing sites, due to the immense costs involved. The resulting lake that backed up behind The Dalles Dam was named Lake Celilo and today provides recreational opportunities to visitors and residents.

The Dalles Dam facts:

Powerhouse Length:              2089 ft (636.7 m) 
Powerhouse Generating Capacity: 1,806,800 kw 
  Nameplate capacity:     14 @ 78 MW, 8 @ 86 MW, 1780 MW total 
  Overload capacity:      14 @ 89 MW, 8 @ 99 MW, 2038 MW total 
  Fishwater units:         2 @ 14 MW, 28 MW total 
  Stations service units:  2 @  3 MW, 6 MW total 
  Hydraulic capacity:     375 kcfs 
Spillway:                       1380 ft, 23 gates 
Navigation Lock Chamber Length:  650 ft (198.1 m) 
Navigation Lock Chamber Width:    86 ft (26.2 m) 
Navigation Lock Maximum Lift:     90 ft (27.1 m) 
Full Pool:                       160.0 ft (48.8 m)
Minimum Pool:                    155.0 ft (47.2 m)
Lake Celilo Length:               23.6 mi (36 km) 
Powerhouse Capacity: 

Please note that the article "The" is part of the name "The Dalles". Just like "La Grande", "The Hague" or "Le Havre".

Sources: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland district,
Hydroelectric Project Information,

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