Early Spring Dam Removal Update

Winter has turned to spring on the White Salmon and crews are now steadily chipping away at the concrete structure of Condit Dam.  The major event now is the removal of the coffer dam–crews are working right now to remove it before spring fish runs begin making their way into the White Salmon and up towards the dam site.

Downstream, the river has eroded a meandering channel in the sediment deposits and is starting to look like a natural stream again.  Healthy sediment deposits have been restored and the river is quickly cutting through much of the surplus deposited during the breach and settling into its path.

Upstream at the Northwestern Lake Park, crews are working to have a boaters’ takeout ready in time for Memorial Day–something I’m sure the commercial rafters and recreational boaters alike are excited about.

On the timelapse front, our cameras have been steadily clicking away all winter and won’t be stopping anytime soon.  Expect photo updates from Steve and I throughout the spring and summer, but I don’t plan to put together another timelpase clip until late summer when the dam has been completely removed.  Have to save the video updates for milestones in the dam removal process!

Thanks for following our site during the slower winter times.  As soon as the action picks up again, we’ll be sure to increase the frequency of our updates.

8 thoughts on “Early Spring Dam Removal Update

  1. I so much appreciate what you are doing so that the public like me can follow along. It has all been fascinating to watch from the very beginning to now. Keep up the great work, I love the time and effort you are putting into this!!!!! GREAT JOB

  2. It’s great to receive any update, Andy!

    You and Steve have done outstanding work in the documentation of this project and many of us look forward to more information and pics as time rolls forward.

    Special thanks for all the historical pictures and context on this website.

    Well done.


  3. I’ll be there in a month. Can’t wait to witness the changes first hand. Save a chunk of concrete for me.

  4. You guys are the best. Thanks for your continuing work. I worked as a carpenter all my life, somtimes part of the magic of building something is knowing that sooner or later it will have to come down or be un-built or destroyed. It always sounds like a good idea when you’re building sopmething, but the future cannot always be imagined and what was necessary today may not be at some point in the future. When I first went through all the historical pictures of the dam being built and imagined all the corresponding construction in the area, like the sloughs going down to the lumber company in Bingen or the early paper company in Camas. I could feel the excitement the men building in those times must have felt. There was probably some thought about fish runs or chemicals going out from the paper mill into the Columbia. But there was so much forest and so much river filled with so many fish. How could it ever all run out? I remember in my early twenties going into the woods on the Washington coastal range to find thousands and thousands of acres of alder forests where fir and cedar once grew, before being cut down without reforestation in the early part of the last century. I imagined those early loggers cutting down the huge trees in the ancient forest who probably just thought they would grow back on their own. What could it matter anyway, there was so much forests that it must have been daunting to even think about cutting so many trees that the forests could ever be bare. The accounting has finally come and we must do much to restore our lands and rivers. I fear that too many people out there don’t understand how late it is, how close to the precipice we are. It all seems too little too late, but I am so greatful that folks got involved and made this happen. Hopefully your hard work will intice others to do more. Thanks again guys for your great work on filming this important project of returning this river to its former beauty.

  5. Please provide more current photos! We need to see just how big of a mess this dam created. There seems to be an effort to shield the public from the difficulties involved in the recovery effort. It is obvious that years may not be enough to fix the damage done, decades or generations may be required.

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