This photo needs editing.
Difficulty III-IV
Length 4.5 Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range N/A
Flow Rate as of: 1 second ago N/A
Reach Info Last Updated 05/18/2005 9:01 pm

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.

Rapid Descriptions

Comments

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Gauge Description


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Directions Description


We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

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News

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McKenzie River (OR) Flow Study

2005-05-23 00:00:00-04
Thomas O'Keefe

On May 11th and 12th a contingent of boaters representing the Eugene paddling community gathered for a flow study on the Carmen Reach of the McKenzie River and the adjacent Smith Bypass Reach on the Smith River, both of which rarely see boatable flows due to operation of the Eugene Water and Electric Board's Carmen Smith Hydroelectric Project.
article main photo

Whitewater Study at Carmen Smith Project

2004-11-15 00:00:00-05
Jason Hartz

American Whitewater and the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) cooperated in a land-based reconnaissance whitewater boating study on the Upper McKenzie and Smith rivers, 70 miles east of Eugene Oregon. The Carmen – Smith Project is EWEB’s oldest hydropower endeavor. EWEB has initiated the relicense process for this hydro project.
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Matt Muir