Salmon and steelhead are spawning again upstream of the Soda Springs Dam, 60 miles or so east of Roseburg.
The original price tag for the new fish passageway was about $9 million, but final costs were $60 million.
The passage opens six miles of habitat on the North Umpqua River and Fish Creek.
Fish encounter the ladder after swimming 180 miles from the Pacific Ocean to spawn.
They can scale the ladder’s pools by swimming through openings or leaping over walls.
Once past Soda Springs Dam, fish can swim as far upriver as Slide Creek Dam, near Toketee Falls.
Aquatic scientists tell the Roseburg News Review that it will take about 12 years before fish are well established in the area.