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TROUTDALE, Ore. -- A dam built in the 1930s to boost salmon runs in the Sandy River near Troutdale is now being removed to improve fish habitat.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Portland Water Board are sharing the cost of the $800,000 project on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Corps spokeswoman Diana Fredlund says the old Oregon Game Commission wanted to close off the East Channel through the Sandy River Delta, where the river empties into the Columbia.

She says the idea then was to focus flows through one channel, but the more natural condition is to allow the river to find its own course through several channels.

The earthen dam is 8 feet high and 750 feet long. Removal begins Thursday.

Completion is expected in November.

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