Posts tagged: Condit Dam
FREE-FLOWING RIVERS – The demise of Condit Dam on Washington’s White Salmon River is available for all to see online in photos and video.
The demolition crew used explosives to blow out the bottom of the dam on Wednesday (Oct. 26) to let water gush out and drain the reservoir. About 2.4 million cubic yards of sediment that has been collecting below the dam, built in 1913, began surging down through the 13-foot-high by 18-foot-wide drain tunnel created in the dam’s 90-foot wide base during August and September.
The PacifiCorp website carried the blast live.
The White Salmon Time Lapse site has been capturing images and creating an album of progress, which will continue for months.
Standing 125 feet tall, Condit is the second largest dam to be removed in the United States after being contested for its barrier to fish passage. Biologist believe salmon and steelhead will take advantage of the new habitat they can reach upstream starting with next year's runs.
Only time will tell how the surge of water and sediment affects the salmon and steelhead fishing holes in the river and at the mouth. Some anglers already worry that the fishing at the confluence of the White Salmon with the Columbia may be impacted for a long time.
Workers will begin removing he dam structure in spring 2012.
FISHERIES — Columbia River area anglers keenly interested in the effort to restore the White Salmon River salmon and steelhead fisheres upstream from the soon to be breached Condit Dam should check out the Frequently Asked Questions info from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Read on for the details about the Fish Capture and Transport Project underway around Condit Dam.
FISHING– Anglers will have to clear off the lower portion of the White Salmon River in southwest Washington for 12 hours on Saturday (Sept. 17) to allow an interagency clean-up team to remove derelict boats, camping gear and other debris before Condit Dam is breached Oct. 26.
The river mouth downstream of the Highway 14 Bridge will remain open.
About 100 waste sites and at least 15 sunken boats have been identified for removal so they’re not flushed down into the Columbia when the 125-foot high PacifiCorp dam is breeched.
The demolition is designed to drain the 92-acre reservoir behind the dam in a quick six hours to flush out sediments that have accumulated behind the 97-year-old dam.
The dam breaching is expected to reopen open 14 miles of habitat for chinook salmon and 33 miles of habitat for steelhead that have been blocked since the dam’s fish ladder washed out in a 1918 flood.
The free-flowing river also is expected to protect critical bull trout habitat and benefit bears and other wildlife that feed on salmon in the waters that originate on the slopes of Mount Adams.
Fisheries staffers from several agencies are jumpstarting the fishery by using seine nets to collect returning salmon in the lower river. The mature fish will be trucked upstream around the dam and released in the upper river to spawn this season.
FREE-FLOWING RIVERS — After a dozen years of planning, the White Salmon River, dammed 3.3 miles upstream from its confluence with the Columbia River since 1913, is on its way to becoming a free-flowing river again.
Dam operators are letting the water pour out of Northwestern Lake, the 92-acre reservoir behind Condit Dam.
White-water rafters who put in at Husum and BZ Corners have been using a new takeout point upstream from the reservoir.
Workers will divert water around the dam. Fish in the pool, mainly trout and steelhead at this time of year, will be caught and released downstream. The dam will be removed in pieces.
Breaching is scheduled for mid- to late October, after all wild fall chinook entering the lower river have been captured, transported and released above the dam.
Read on for more information on this historic effort.
RIVER RUNNING — Boater passage under the Northwestern Lake bridge on the Washington's White Salmon River will be closed beginning Tuesday.
The White Salmon River, a popular whitewater rafting attraction, flows south from glaciers on Mount Adams, entering the Columbia River by the town of Hood River, Ore. See map.
Condit Dam is 3.3 miles from the mouth and just inside the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
PacifiCorp is rebuilding the bridge as part of the removal of Condit Dam. During the work, a temporary take-out will be located at cabin 12 just upstream of the bridge on the Skamania County side. A boat barrier will direct boaters to the location.
The temporary site is not as easy as using the Northwestern Lake boat ramp. It will take multiple rafters to move the boat and the grade is uphill.
Info: PacifiCorp at (503) 331-4361.