Oxbow Dam

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,[1] it is part of the Hells Canyon Project that also includes Hells Canyon Dam and Brownlee Dam, built and operated by Idaho Power Company.

Oxbow Dam
Official nameOxbow Dam
LocationHells Canyon, Adams County, Idaho / Baker County, Oregon, USA
Coordinates44°58′15″N 116°50′04″W / 44.97083°N 116.83444°W / 44.97083; -116.83444Coordinates: 44°58′15″N 116°50′04″W / 44.97083°N 116.83444°W / 44.97083; -116.83444
Opening date1961; 60 years ago (1961)[1]
Operator(s)Idaho Power Company
Dam and spillways
ImpoundsSnake River
Height175 feet (53 m)
CreatesOxbow Reservoir
Total capacity58,200 acre-feet (71,800,000 m3)
Catchment area73,300 square miles (190,000 km2)
Surface area1,150 acres (470 ha)
Power Station
Installed capacity190 megawatts (250,000 hp)
Annual generation1,047 gigawatt-hours (3,770 TJ)

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.[2]

See alsoEdit

Oxbow Dam power station


  1. ^ a b "Oxbow completed". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). (photo). November 30, 1961. p. 1, section 2.
  2. ^ FAA 5010 for OR83


External linksEdit