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Washington state dam to be demolished to restore fish habitat

October 26, 2011 | 11:02 am

The White Salmon River in Washington state will flow freely for the first time in 100 years Wednesday as a blast at the base of the Condit Dam begins the demolition of the barrier that has blocked trout and salmon from portions of the river they once populated.

The demolition of the 125-foot-high dam is expected to be completed by the end of August 2012. Its removal will restore access to 33 miles of habitat for the river’s steelhead trout and 14 miles of habitat for chinook salmon.

At noon PDT, live video of the demolition can be seen here.

The demolition of the dam is a part of a push nationwide to remove aging dams and restore rivers to their former states. Several smaller dams in southern Oregon have been removed and more than 235 dams across the country have been removed or breached since 2006.

Last month, in the biggest dam removal project in history, crews in Washington began demolishing the Elwha Dam, the first step in removing two hydropower dams that for a century have straddled the Elwha River.


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-- Stephen Ceasar