dam removal | KNKX

dam removal

AstroTurf seen in the Puyallup River during work done in late July by Electron Hydro.
Courtesy of the Puyallup Tribe

Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier says he wants to see the obsolete Electron Dam removed from the Puyallup River. This comes after an employee revealed that the private owner of the dam was illegally using discarded AstroTurf in the river during work on upgrades this summer.

AstroTurf in the Puyallup River, near the site of Electron Hydro's dam improvement project.
Courtesy of the Puyallup Tribe

UPDATE, Sept. 14:  Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier says he wants to see the obsolete Electron Dam removed from the Puyallup River. He issued a letter to the head of Electron Hydro, extending the county’s stop-work order because of the AstroTurf and requiring a list of 14 steps to be carried out immediately.

Soon the Pilchuck River will be redirected to its original channel, after the removal of two dam structures that have held it back for more than 100 years.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

This week, the Pilchuck River will be redirected to its original channel, after the removal of two dam structures that have held it back for more than 100 years. It’s a relatively small project, compared to the monumental dam removals on the Elwha River in 2014 or even this summer’s explosive demolition work on the Nooksack.

But taking down this 10-by-60-foot barrier promises to dramatically improve critical habitat for salmon and steelhead. 

Courtesy of American Rivers

A dam removal that has been twenty years in the making reached an important milestone this week. Explosives ripped through the concrete on the Middle Fork Nooksack, east of Bellingham.  

Two barges are moored at the earthen embankment at the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River near Wawawai, Wash., on April 22, 1999. The embankment will be removed if the dam is breached.
JACKIE JOHNSTON / The Associated Press

When salmon and steelhead don't get the cold water they need, it costs them more energy to survive.  Their reproductive success can be diminished and they become more vulnerable to disease.

Nicholas K. Geranios / AP Photo

Gov. Jay Inslee has received a letter from the region’s leading killer whale scientists, calling for the removal of four dams on the Lower Snake river.

Jackie Johnston, File / AP Photo

Salmon art and an orca puppet will parade through Seattle Thursday afternoon. The procession is to attract attention to restoration efforts for wild salmon and steelhead runs on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Courtesy of the Center for Whale Research

Corrected on October 31, 2016 - An earlier version of this story incorrectly placed the Snake River dams in Idaho. They are in Southeast Washington.

Some of the top whale researchers in the Pacific Northwest are calling on the federal government to breach four dams on the Lower Snake River in Southeast Washington. They say that’s the surest way to restore the Chinook salmon runs that endangered orcas primarily feed on.

NOAA Fisheries West Coast

Tiny forage fish don’t have the iconic status of Northwest species such as salmon or orcas, but the marine creatures at the bottom of the food chain play a critical role. So scientists are excited to see signs they’re spawning in new habitat created by the Elwha dam removals. 

Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light has finalized a new 42-year license on its most productive hydroelectric dam. The agreement wraps up a process seven years in the making.

Boundary Dam sits on the Pend Oreille River in northeastern Washington. It rises to 340 feet tall, spanning a narrow canyon. 

"Oh it's awesome," said City Light's Barbara Greene. "Every time I go there, after 10 years, it's just awesome."

Crews have blasted a hole in a nearly century-old hydropower dam in Washington's south Cascades today, marking another step in efforts to restore habitat for threatened and endangered fish in the Pacific Northwest.

D. Kvamme / PacifiCorp

Update: Watch the explosion and dam breach.

WHITE SALMON, Wash. – Demolition experts are rigging 700 pounds of dynamite today at Condit Dam in southwest Washington. Crews are scheduled to breach the aging hydropower dam on the White Salmon River around noon Wednesday.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The effort to remove four dams along the Klamath River has come one step closer to reality.

The U.S. Department of the Interior released a series of long-awaited environmental impact studies today which conclude that removing the dams would boost salmon runs and improve water quality.

River Drifters / Flickr

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Work is under way to remove the Condit Dam in southwest Washington and restore salmon and steelhead habitat on the White Salmon River.

The 125-foot tall dam was built in 1913 about three miles from the Columbia River.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Nearly 100 years of hydropower production comes to a close today (Wednesday) on the Elwha River on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. The turbines at the two dams on the river are going off line for good in preparation for the biggest dam removal in North American history.