The restoration of the White Salmon River started with a blast last fall when engineers blew a hole out of the base of Condit Dam, and will continue for the next several years, but recovery of the White Salmon reached an important, if mostly symbolic milestone last week. The last remnants of the dam were removed, meaning for the first time in more than 100 years the river is completely free of the dam which once obstructed salmon passage. Fish have been naturally migrating above the dam since last spring and good numbers of chinook and steelhead are thought to have migrated into the upper river this year, filling more than 30 miles of habitat that had been vacant for a century. While the rebuilding of salmon populations in the White Salmon will take a few generations, the dam removal project is expected to have major benefits for chinook and coho as well as winter and summer steelhead.
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