Chief Joseph Dam is located in North Central Washington near the town of Bridgeport. It sits on the Columbia River and construction began in 1949 but the power generating units were not completed until 1958.
Fun Facts About Chief Joseph Dam
-Chief Joseph Dam is a concrete-gravity dam.
-Chief Joseph Dam is 236 feet high.
-Chief Joseph Dam measures in at 5,962 feet long.
-The width of the dam is 22 feet at the top and 164 feet at its base underneath the water of the Columbia River.
-The water backed up by Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River is known as Rufus Woods Lake.
-Chief Joseph Dam is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
-The original powerhouse of Chief Joseph Dam featured 16 turbines. An additional 11 were added in the mid to late 1970s to bring the total to 27.
-Stretching across the Columbia, Chief Joseph Dam touches both Douglas and Okanogan counties.
-The original name of Chief Joseph Dam when it was originally approved in 1946 was slated to be the Foster Creek Dam and Powerhouse. It was in 1948 that the project changed the name of the eventual dam in honor of the Nez Perce chief.
-Salmon migration on the Columbia River is completely blocked by Chief Joseph Dam. Every dam below it on the river has fish ladders to allow for migration but it does not.
-When the 11 new generators were added in the 1970s, Chief Joseph Dam and the water level behind it were both raised approximately 10 feet.
-The water impounded behind Chief Joseph Dam is known as Lake Roosevelt.
-On the Columbia River, Grand Coulee Dam is immediately above Chief Joseph Dam and Wells Dam is immediately below it.
-Rufus Woods Lake, behind Chief Joseph Dam, stretches for 51 river miles.