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WA Dam Makes U.S. History

The Elwha River Restoration project in Clallam County, considered by many to be the most important salmon recovery project in the state, has received an important nod of approval with the Washington Department of Ecology issuing a major decision supporting the project.

This is the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. When completed, the entire Elwha River will be free-flowing, and salmon and seagoing trout will have access to over 70 miles of mainstem and tributary habitat previously blocked off from fish passage. Since the two dams were completed in 1913 and 1927, salmon have been limited to inhabiting only the lower five miles of the Elwha River.

"This project is incredibly significant to our salmon and to the shoreline and beaches of the Port Angeles area. The Elwha River once hosted a famous run of Chinook salmon. These fish were huge, some weighing over 100 pounds, and they have been all but eliminated by these two dams. I look forward to restoring the Elwha River and rebuilding its Chinook run for this and future generations," said Governor Christine Gregoire.

"I'm proud that the state is working in partnership with the National Park Service, local communities and the tribes to make this project a reality. It is through collaboration and cooperation that projects like this succeed."

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Updated 2015/01/07 21:14:22