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Washington Dams With Fishery or Recreation Issues

Posted: 08/19/2018
By: Thomas O'Keefe

Several dams in Washington State have known issues impacting fishery resources or river-based recreation. Some represent partial or complete barriers to fish passage that should be addressed; additionally impacts to geomorphology degrade habitat for fishery resources at many of these dams. In other cases the primary impact of the dam is on river-based recreation where the dam represents a hazard to navigation or public safety. Some of these dams may be candidates for removal while others could be modified to eliminate or reduce impacts. Several successful dam removals are also included in this story map.

American Whitewater has developed a Story Map to show where these dams are located with a photo and basic overview.

View Story Map

Examples of dams with impacts included on map are the Middle Fork Nooksack Dam, Rocky Creek Dam on a tributary of the Baker River, Buckley Dam on the White River, Electron Dam on the Puyallup River, Chambers Creek Dam, 5th Avenue Dam on the Deschutes River, Enloe Dam on Similkameen River, Tumwater Dam on the Wenatchee River, Nelson Dam on the Yakima River, and the Lower Snake River Dams. Examples of dams that have been removed include two dams on the Elwha River, Condit Dam on the White Salmon River, Mill Pond Dam on Sullivan Creek, and others.

Thomas O'Keefe

3537 NE 87th St.

Seattle, WA 98115

Phone: 425-417-9012
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Associated Projects

Elwha Restoration (WA)

The Elwha River will be restored by removing two dams that have blocked salmon and degraded recreational opportunities on one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular rivers.

Puyallup Watershed (WA)

Major rivers of the Puyallup watershed include the Carbon, Puyallup, and White which drain the western and northern slopes of Mt. Rainier which we are working to preserve and protect.

Similkameen River (BC/WA)

American Whitewater supports conservation and restoration of the Similkameen River.

Snake River Restoration (ID, OR, WA)

American Whitewater is working with a coalition of partners to restore the Snake and Salmon Rivers in Idaho for fish and paddlers.

White Salmon Restoration (WA)

American Whitewater has been engaged in a long-term effort to protect and restore one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular year-around whitewater rivers.

Associated Rivers


Southern Resident Killer Whale Recovery and Task Force letter (8/19/2018)

Overview of opportunities to address impacts of dams that impact salmon and navigation.

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