Army Engineers Propose Removing Monroe Drop Structure On Oregon’s Long Tom River

Monday, the Army Corps of Engineers formally proposed that the 79-year-old concrete Monroe Drop Structure on the Long Tom River be taken down, and 43 acres of natural land around it be restored.

The 85-foot-wide, 9.5-foot-tall building is one of many obstacles that fish must go through on the Long Tom. Low-head dams, also called drop structures, differ from high-head dams like the Detroit and Bonneville.

Low heads slow the river’s speed while high charges control the water flow and do things like make electricity.

During a two-year study, the Corps worked with the City of Monroe and the Tribes of the Siletz. The Corps says the proposal would “enhance the waterway’s connectivity to its historic meandering form.”

Army engineers started the Long Tom River Passage Rectification and Improvement Project in 1943 to make the river passage downstream from Fern Ridge Dam able to handle more water. Engineers cleared, straightened, and “armoured” the area with barriers.

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The river used to meander for 36 miles, but now it flows in a deep, straight path for 23 miles. The Monroe, Stroda, and Ferguson drop structures were built and were a vital part of the river’s change from wild and natural to managed and limited.

Army Engineers haven’t said their plans for the future yet, but they say that Monroe has to come down before they can start working on the other two drop structures.

Neon Martin

Neon Martin is a talented content writer with a passion for crafting engaging, informative articles on a wide range of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a love of language, Neon has honed their writing skills over several years of experience in the field. Neon's work can be found on, where they contribute insightful articles that explore the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Whether delving into local events, highlighting community leaders, or sharing tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life, Neon's writing always captivates and informs.

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