Little Goose Dam and Lake Bryan

Little Goose Lock and Dam was the third of four dams constructed as part of the Lower Snake River Project, authorized in the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1945. Construction began in 1963, and three turbine units were operational in 1970. Three more turbine units were operational in 1978.
Lake Bryan extends from the dam upstream for 37 miles to Lower Granite Dam.

Little Goose Dam, Lake Bryan, and associated facilities are operated for Hydropower, Navigation, Fish & Wildlife, Recreation, Water Quality, and Irrigation.

Quick Facts

  • Stream: Snake River (RM 70.3)
  • Location: Dayton, Washington
  • Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District
  • Authorized Purposes: Hydropower, Navigation (1945 Rivers and Harbors Act)
  • Other Purposes: Recreation, Fish and Wildlife, Water Quality, Irrigation
  • Type of Project: Run-of-River
  • Little Goose
  • Completed: 1970
  • Height: 149 feet
  • Length: 2,655 feet
  • Features: powerhouse, spillway, navigation lock, fish passage facilities
  • Forebay Elevation Normal Operating Range: 633-638 feet msl
  • Spillway Capacity (max): 850,000 cfs
  • Generation Capacity: 810 MW, 6 Units
  • Hydraulic Capacity: 130,000 cfs

Authorized Purposes

Little Goose Dam has six 135-megawatt turbine units and a total generating capacity of 810 MW.
Little Goose Dam navigation lock is the seventh of eight locks encountered in the Columbia-Snake Inland Waterway, a 465-mile river highway that allows barge transport of commodities between the Pacific Ocean and Lewiston, Idaho. In 2015, more than 1.9 million tons of cargo passed through the Little Goose lock/
Water Quality
Water quality is monitored and managed consistent with Clean Water Act and state standards for the health of aquatic species. During spill for juvenile fish passage at the four Lower Columbia and four Lower Snake River projects, the Corps implements a Water Quality Program to manage total dissolved gas.
Popular recreation activities around Little Goose Dam and Lake Bryan include fishing, swimming, picnicking, boating, hunting, and camping. Currently, there are 7 day-use areas, 5 campgrounds, 5 boat launch facilities, and 2 swimming beaches.
Fish & Wildlife
Little Goose Dam has one fish ladder with entrances on both shores to provide a passage route for upstream-migrating fish, including adult salmon and steelhead, lamprey, shad, and others. Passage routes operated for downstream-migrating fish are the spillway, a spillway weir, and a juvenile bypass system.
In 2015, nearly 2.2 million juvenile salmon and steelhead were collected in the bypass system—of those, 480,000 were returned to the river and over 1.8 million were transported downstream by barge or truck and released below Bonneville Dam.