Detroit Lake Piety Island Channel Project Begins

Release Date: Nov 8, 2011   Detroit, OR

Contact(s): Dani Pavoni 503-854-4208 (Project Contact), Dave Halemeier 503-854-4217 (Technical Contact), Stefanie Gatchell 541-912-8073 (Media Contact)

Late season boating conditions should improve for visitors to Detroit Lake next summer. The purpose of the project is to create a safer boating travel corridor between Piety Island and the mainland; this passage is especially critical in the late season as water levels drop. Construction deepening the natural channel between the north shore of the lake and Piety Island will take place over the next few weeks. The project is a cooperative effort between US Forest Service, Federal Lakes Recreation Committee for Detroit Lake, Oregon Army National Guard, and US Army Corps of Engineers. Detroit Lake is the highest use boating lake in Oregon and is a designated Federal Lake, one of only 32 in the nation.

“This channel is popular for those wanting a short cut from the marinas and boat launches to Hoover Arm. It will also provide a shorter travel route in case of emergencies.” explained Grady McMahan, USFS Detroit District Ranger. “The dirt taken during improvement of the natural channel will be used to build a new small island near the existing Detroit Flats peninsula enhancing fish and wildlife habitat.” McMahan added.

Forest Service applied for Army National Guard funding of this project through the Innovative Readiness Training Request Program. This program funds projects that otherwise would have no funding; meet the goals of the Army National Guard; and gives back to communities. The Oregon Army National Guard 224 Engineer Company under the 1249th Engineer Battalion already has the funds and must complete an annual readiness for wartime mission training. “This project was a good fit because it allows soldiers to gain valuable hands on experience with construction and heavy equipment.” stated First Class Sergeant Derek Fanning.

During project construction the public is asked to please stay away as it is a training area with heavy equipment. There is a viewing area at the end of the Detroit Flats trail. Hikers needing to access Piety Island from Detroit Flats should remain to the left (south of the project) following the bank of the North Santiam River.