Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha is Almost Gone

Dam removal on the Elwha River is almost complete after a controlled blast at Glines Canyon dam last month lowered the remaining dam to its last 35 feet above the river bed. Work began in September 2011 to remove the two dams on the Elwha, and Elwha dam the lower of the two was removed by March 2012. Now Glines Canyon is almost gone, with only 35 feet of cement left in the place of the once 210 foot tall dam. The rest of the dam is expected out by next fall, opening the entirety of the Elwha basin to migratory salmonids. With the river still transporting high loads of sediment that had been trapped behind the dams, the mainstem below the two dam sites is a relatively inhospitable place. However, already wild salmon and steelhead are finding and using spawning habitat in the tributaries and side channels above Elwha dam, and biologists have been trapping and releasing fish from the lower river into the upper basin above Glines Canyon dam in hopes of jumpstarting the recolonization.

More information from the Peninsula Daily News:

and footage of the blast from the Elwha Film website:

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