USGS Washington Water Science Center
|Project Home | Publications and Products | News Releases | Contact Us | Project Summaries | Partnerships ||
The formerly free-flowing Elwha River was famous for the diversity and size of its salmon runs. After the construction of the Elwha Dam (1912) and the Glines Canyon Dam (1927), fish lost access to more than 70 miles of mainstem river and tributary habitat. As a result, all 10 runs of native Elwha salmon and sea-going trout declined sharply. Restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem will be accomplished primarily through the removal of the two dams.
To help resource managers understand the effects of dam removal on sediment transport, watershed ecology, and aquatic habitat, the USGS is developing a suspended-sediment monitoring system, studying how sediment may be redistributed, and assessing how dam removal will affect the ecosystem.