New life emerges as dams come down on the Elwha
Despite tons of sediment left behind, vegetation is beginning to transform a drained lake bottom in the Elwha River Valley and of interest to anglers, a steelhead has already been found taking advantage of the new river it can now access.
Source: Seattle Times
The Elwha River is forming a new landscape — and the first brave pioneers are quickly moving in.
Since last September, contractors have been taking two dams out of the Elwha River in a $325 million federal project intended to revive the Olympic Peninsula river, its wilderness watershed and its legendary fish runs.
Elwha Dam, the lower of the two, is already gone. Glines Canyon Dam, about eight miles farther upriver, will be gone by this time next year.
As the river is freed, it is rinsing out sediment stuck behind Elwha Dam for a century, shaping and reshaping a fantastic landscape of terraces and badlands. The river also is opening a window into a lost world as the Elwha exposes the valley bottom logged more than a century ago before Lake Aldwell was filled.
Everywhere, there are signs of new life. Scientists last week discovered the first wild, adult male steelhead — at least 35 inches long — arriving to spawn in the Little River, a tributary upstream from the old Elwha Dam site, where the river now flows free.
Visible amid the gray sediment flats are the green starts of new plants and the tracks of animals.
Millions of cubic yards of sediment trapped behind Glines Canyon Dam start coming out this fall: more big change is still ahead.
Articles by the same author
- Chanos chanos - Milkfish Madness...
- Scotland to Consider Wild Salmon Netting Ban
- Discover Amazing Angling in Dubai and Oman
- Do You Fancy Fishing in Paradise Next Year?
- North American Salmon Returns Looking Hopeful
- River Ure Salmon Project to Be Celebrated At ‘Big Fish’ Event
- S&TA Express Concern at Lack of Progress at NASCO Meeting
- Salmon and Trout Association Forces Net Fishery Closure
- Salmon could be Returning to Sheffield
- Feed Trials Show Promise for Reduction of Sea Lice Infection.