We’ve been posting news of the Elwha River in Washington state a lot lately, because there’s a lot happening. The deconstruction of two dams on the Elwha, began in September and is way ahead of schedule. Within the next few weeks, Lake Aldwell, the reservoir behind Elwha dam, will be drawn down and eliminated.
This Summer, the anadromous fish of the Elwha, will gain another eight river miles of prime spawning water. Deconstruction will cease when the fabled fall Chinook salmon enter the river in July.
When both dams are removed, a total of seventy river miles will be available to spawning fish, for the first time since the river was impounded in 1910. Over eighty percent of this water, is permanently protected within the Olympic National Park boundaries, and can never be developed.
This is a momentous victory for the anadromous fish of the Olympic peninsula and for Salmon and Steelhead conservation everywhere.