Salmon Dam: 100 Years Going Strong


By Joey Martin

Rogerson, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) If you have even seen the Salmon Dam you may wonder about its structural integrity?

Years of erosion has made its façade seem a bit sketchy.

But according to officials, the dam is doing its job... And doing it well.

"The salmon track was built in 1911; it's been operating since then. Se we are a little over 100 years old now... but it seems to be in good shape."

when driving across this structure you may think twice about your fate.

But 100 years after construction was complete, the Salmon Dam is holding strong.

"In 2003 a group of engineers did a study on it. They took a core sample.. they got the results back. It was, as of 03, just curing completely... the concrete was. We don't have any concerns. The dam seems to be in really good shape."
Said John Shetler, Manager of the Salmon River Canal Company.

The department of water resources also checks in on the dam once every two years.

With just this last year, giving the dam their stamp of approval.

Over the life span of this crucial irrigation resource, only once has an emergency precaution been taken.

That was back in 1984.

"There was an over-spill of Salmon Dam... it did not erupt, we technically had and over-spill and it went into of course the canyon"
Said Jackie Frey, Coordinator of the Twin Falls County Department of Emergency Services.

"We have a spillway in place that we can divert the water and it's dumped into the canyon. It's not the best option; we've only had to do it once in 100 years. But we do have a plan in place for sure."
Said Shetler.

When looking at the dam, a century of erosion has made the façade look questionable.

But according to the Salmon River Canal Company.

The façade is of no concern to them.

"the outside, that's due to a lot of the salt... sand and gravel that the county puts on the roadway it has eroded the outer of the concrete. But the structure is sound."
Said Shetler.

A solid structure to help irrigate far into the future.

Currently the Salmon River Canal Company and Salmon Dam supply irrigation water for over 12,000 acres of farmland in southern Idaho.

From north of Rogerson the just south of Twin Falls.

The Salmon Dam reaches it all.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

KMVT Breaking News Alerts

Morning & Afternoon News Updates