McKenzie - 2. Carmen Reservoir to Trail Bridge Reservoir


McKenzie, Oregon, US

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2. Carmen Reservoir to Trail Bridge Reservoir

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 4.5 Miles
Max Gradient 240 fpm

McKenzie Carmen reach


McKenzie Carmen reach
Photo of Jim Reed by Thomas O'Keefe taken 05/01/05 @ 330 cfs



River Description

This section of river is a bypass reach for the Eugene Water & Electric Board's Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Plant. Whitewater resources are currently being examined by Confluence Research in partnership with the utility, American Whitewater, and local volunteers.

Tamolitch Falls separates the Upper Carmen and Lower Carmen reaches on this section and represents a break point where the character of the whitewater changes. Upper Carmen is approximately two miles long and drops about 50' per mile with class II/III whitewater. Beginning about 1/3 of a mile above Tamolitch Falls the gradient increases dramatically approaching 200' per mile with class III/IV whitewater. Tamolitch Falls is a 50'-60' vertical drop into the "Blue Pool". Below this point the river passes through a steep gorge for about a mile representing the most interesting whitewater on the run. Below the gorge the gradient eases off to about 60' per mile as the channel begins to braid and substrate size decreases.

Additional assessment of the feasibility of access in the vicinity of Tamolitch Falls is ongoing as is further study of the whitewater resources and recommended flows.

Additional Information

  • The Carmen-Smith Relicensing website contains information on the project including maps and the Whitewater Boating reports by Confluence Research and Consulting.
  • Jason Hartz summarized the findings of a land-based river survey in the Jan/Feb 2005 issue of the American Whitewater Journal.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2005-05-18 21:01:52

Rapid Descriptions

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