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The Elwha Dam is gone

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on April 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm with 2 Comments »
April 25, 2012 2:01 pm
The bare ground in the front of the image is all that remains of the former Elwha Dam in Olympic National Park.

The Elwha Dam no longer exists. That’s the news from Olympic National Park.

Here is the news release:

Crews continue to excavate the river channel just upstream of the former Elwha Dam, slowly lowering the river bed to its original elevation and draining the remaining reservoir. The material being excavated now is primarily rock and gravel, much of which was added to the channel after the dam failed in 1912. Contractors have another ten feet to go before they reach the original elevation of the river bed of 100 feet.

Material excavated from the channel is being used to fill in the old spillway channel. Once the landscape has been rebuilt enough for equipment to reach the top of the concrete abutment, removal of that will begin.

At Glines Canyon Dam, hammering is scheduled to continue this week, following repairs to the hammer late last week. Contractors will continue lowering the dam, with the goal of reaching an elevation of about 500 feet before May 1. Meanwhile, demolition of the Glines powerhouse is continuing, with contractors turning their attention to removal of the penstock and surge tower after that.

Once the calendar reads May 1, all in-water work will stop for two months. This clean water “fish window” is one of many measures being used to protect fish from high levels of silt and turbidity in the river during the dam removal project.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. rgardner says:

    I wonder if the road (Olympic Hot Springs Rd – Elwha) will be reopened during the 2-month “fish window.” If not, why not?

  2. rubioloco says:

    Will be interesting to see the natural rebuilding of Ediz Hook as the silt held behind the dams slowly make their way to the Straits. Hopefully the state and tribe wont ‘pollute’ this historically bio-diverse river with hatchery fish. This stream has the potential to become a fabulous fishery within a generation if we manage this collectively and keep the inferior hatchery strain out of the watershed. Maybe one day we will once again see the hawgs that made it through Goblins Gate, the searun cutthroat of the lower river and the sockeye, silvers and humpies that ran this river. There should be some big lake fish lurking in some of the bigger holes over the next couple years as well as some BIG bull trout out of Lake Mills.

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