John Day Dam

John Day Dam

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John Day Dam

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The John Day Dam is a concrete gravity run-of-the-river dam spanning the Columbia River in the northwestern United States. The dam features a navigation lock plus fish ladders on both sides. The John Day Lock has the highest lift (110 feet) of any U.S. lock. The reservoir impounded by the dam is Lake Umatilla, and it runs 76.4 miles (123 kilometers) up the river channel to the foot of the McNary Dam. John Day Dam is part of the Columbia River Basin system of dams.


John Day Dam is located 28 miles (45 km) east of the city of The Dalles, Oregon, and just below the mouth of the John Day River. The closest town on the Washington side is Goldendale, 20 miles (32 km) north. The closest town on the Oregon side is Rufus, Oregon. Its crest elevation is approximately above sea level. It joins Sherman County, Oregon with Klickitat County, Washington, 216 miles (348 kilometers) upriver from the mouth of the Columbia near Astoria, Oregon.


Construction of the dam began in 1958 and was completed in 1971, making it the newest dam on the lower Columbia, at a total cost of US$511 million. John Day Dam was built and is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam's power generation capacity is 2,480,000 kW (overload capacity).

The dam underwent a...
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