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Oxbow Dam facts for kids

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Oxbow Dam
Official name Oxbow Dam
Location Hells Canyon, Adams County, Idaho / Baker County, Oregon, USA
Coordinates 44°58′15″N 116°50′04″W / 44.97083°N 116.83444°W / 44.97083; -116.83444
Opening date 1961; 62 years ago (1961)
Operator(s) Idaho Power Company
Dam and spillways
Impounds Snake River
Height 175 feet (53 m)
Creates Oxbow Reservoir
Total capacity 58,200 acre feet (71,800,000 m3)
Catchment area 73,300 square miles (190,000 km2)
Surface area 1,150 acres (470 ha)
Power station
Installed capacity 190 megawatts (250,000 hp)
Annual generation 1,047 gigawatt-hours (3,770 TJ)

Oxbow Dam is a hydroelectric run-of-the-river rockfill dam on the Snake River on the Idaho-Oregon border, in Hells Canyon (river mile 273). Completed in 1961, it is part of the Hells Canyon Project that also includes Hells Canyon Dam and Brownlee Dam, built and operated by Idaho Power Company.

The dam's powerhouse contains four generating units with a total nameplate capacity of 190 megawatts (250,000 hp).

Lacking passage for migrating salmon, the three Hells Canyon Project dams blocked access by anadromous salmonids to a stretch of the Snake River drainage basin from Hells Canyon Dam up to Shoshone Falls, which naturally prevents any upstream fish passage to the upper Snake River basin.


Oxbow Heliport (FAA LID: OR83) is a private 100-by-100-foot (30 by 30 m), turf heliport owned by Idaho Power.

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