Fish recolonizing areas upriver of former dam sites on Elwha River  – PDN

More good news from the Elwha.

Josh Geffre has watched with awe as salmon return to the uppermost reaches of the Elwha River. Geffre, a fisheries technician for Olympic National Park, started monitoring the fish for the park in 2014 and has marveled as he’s seen most species swim upstream of the former Glines Canyon Dam. “It’s very satisfying to know the fish are recolonizing into areas upriver of the former dam sites,” he said during a recent trip to collect data on the fish. “It’s exciting to watch them.” Jesse Major reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

See also: Elwha fish by the numbers (Peninsula Daily News)


Scientists tells of Elwha restoration progress during symposium – PDN

The PDN coverage of the first of two free public events during the four-day 2012 Elwha River Science Symposium. Arwyn Rice reports.

Scientists tells of Elwha restoration progress during symposium

And: More king salmon sightings upriver in Elwha

Return of the kings! Chinook salmon observed in undammed portion of Elwha River – Park & PDN

As the old saying goes, “nature abhors a vacuum”. The Olympic National Park have announced (and reported and commented on by The Peninsula Daily News) that chinook (King) salmon have been spotted above the site of the lower of the two dams that have been removed. This is the first time in almost a century that they have been able to reach this location. In addition to the Kings, Steelhead have also been seen in above the first dam.

The power of restoration again shows that once a place has been restored, nature tries and fill it, if the species still are alive.

The news bulletin from the park

Additional information on the story at the PDN.

KING 5 & Kitsap Sun Stories on Elwha Dam Removal

KING5 reporter Gary Chittim took his turn on the Elwha River story with his report on ‘World’s largest dam removal project on the Elwha River’ 


Christopher Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun had a very helpful blog pulling together a bibliography of some interesting scientific documents on the project, ‘Research divers to watch arrival of Elwha sediments’

The Latest On Lake Mills from John Gussman

John has been documenting the removal of the Elwha dams. Here’s his latest photos from Lake Mills

Elwha River reborn as landscape transforms

Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes took her turn on the Elwha Dam removal story with this weekend’s “Elwha River reborn as landscape transforms 

“The river, tumbling and even kicking up a little white water, breaking a century’s silence in the landscape of former Lake Aldwell. ‘First, the sound,’ said Brian Cluer of NOAA fisheries, surveying the delta last week, ‘then the salmon.’"

Video – Elwha River at Stage 3 Flood Alert

Check out John Gussman’s new video, The Power of Water, taken yesterday on the Elwha at full stage 3 flood alert. An amazing couple of minutes of video of the power of water.

High school students turn drained lake into classroom – King 5


Posted on November 8, 2010 at 6:44 PM


PORT ANGELES, Wash. — A group of Seattle High School students are among the first people in over 80 years to walk on the bottom of Lake Mills.

The lake is being drained in preparation for removal of the two Elwha dams scheduled to next fall. The draw downs are the most visible steps so far the in the 20-year process of approval for the removal.

The Nathan Hale High School team was invited to study the lakes, dams and rivers by the Olympic Institute, an environmental education group that hopes the students will help the story of the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. The students are measuring the PH, flow and sediment levels in the river now so they compare them to levels after the removal.


Elwha River Weir – WDFW

11/10 WDFW Fish Files
An adult fish trap, termed a resistance board weir, was installed in the Elwha River in September 2010 to begin counting adult salmon, trout, and char migrating upstream and downstream in the Elwha River. The weir is part of a multi-agency effort, which includes the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Olympic National Park, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), to monitor the influence of removing two Elwha River hydroelectric dams on salmon and steelhead returns to the Elwha River ecosystem.

More at

Lowering of Lake Mills starts today – PDN

10/20 Peninsula Daily News
Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Lake Mills behind Glines Canyon Dam will be lowered 18 feet starting today as part of the preparation for the removal of the dam and another on the Elwha River.

Bureau of Reclamation dam managers will lower the water level by about 1 ½ feet every day until it is about 18 feet lower than normal, Olympic National Park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.

The water will be released by opening the dam’s spill gates, Maynes said.

More at

Elwha River flows through man-made channel for dam-removal preparation

9/30 Peninsula Daily News

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A river runs through it. Well, most of it does.
About 80 percent of the Elwha River is flowing though a man-made pilot channel at the southern end of Lake Mills where the river meanders through a delta and pours into the broad lake.
Crews finished digging the pilot channel on Tuesday and relocated a log jam near the head of the delta on Wednesday to direct the flow into the new channel, Olympic National Park Spokeswoman Barb Maynes confirmed.
More at

Trees felled in preparation for removal of Elwha dams – PDN

9/19 Peninsula Daily News

By Chris Tucker and Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The southern end of Lake Mills looks idyllic.
With towering mountains, a dense, green forest and the quietly burbling, crystal-clear waters of the Elwha River flowing nearby, one might imagine this area in Olympic National Park has remained essentially unchanged for 1,000 years.
Loud, electronic beeping noises disrupt the peace.
They signal the approaching end of the Glines Canyon Dam, construction of which created the lake, and the demise of its sister edifice, the Elwha Dam, downriver.
More at

Lowering Lake Mills begins today; preparation central to clearing Elwha River of dams – PDN

9/9 Peninsula Daily News
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Lake Mills will be lowered 5 feet starting today in the beginning of the end for the reservoir behind Glines Canyon Dam west of Port Angeles — and an essential part of preparations for the demolition of the two dams on the Elwha River.
On Wednesday, workers finished barging a big-bucket excavator, a crane and several fuel tanks to a delta of at least 13 million yards of sediment at the southeast portion of the lake.
The delta was created where the Elwha River slows down as it empties into Lake Mills’ broader boundaries.
More at

Multimillion-dollar contract for dam removals to be announced today; congressional brass tours Elwha first

8/26 Peninsula Daily News
Multimillion-dollar contract for dam removals to be announced today; congressional brass tours Elwha first
By Tom Callis
Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A four-member congressional delegation toured the two Elwha River dams earlier this week, two days before today’s expected announcement of the name of the company that will tear down the structures.

The National Park Service is scheduled to announce the awarding of the approximately $40 million to $60 million contract today.

Demolition of the dams will begin in September 2011 and take about 2 ½ years to complete.

More at

Elwha River’s coming dam removal has scientists flooded with unknowns – Seattle Times

Scientists see much to learn when two dams come down on the Elwha River, beginning about a year from now in the largest dam removal project ever in North America

By Lynda V. Mapes

Seattle Times staff reporter

ELWHA RIVER, Clallam County — From all over the country they came to ponder this river: its gravel, its teal-green waters, its shores and mouth and mostly its future as the site of the largest dam-removal project ever in North America.

Read the whole story:

$2.1 million Morse Creek fish crib under way to preserve young Elwha River salmon -PDN

9/23 Peninsula Daily News $2.1 million Morse Creek fish crib under way to preserve young Elwha River salmon
By Tom Callis Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is building a $2.1 million facility to preserve the endangered Elwha River Chinook salmon.

The 5,550 square-foot facility, to be completed in December, is being built as part of the $308 million project to remove the two Elwha River dams and restore the stream back to its natural state.

It is paid for by the National Park Service, and construction began about three weeks ago, said project manager Ray Berg.

More at

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