Finding Their Way Home: Salmon Return after Breach of Condit Dam

For the first time in over 100 years, since the construction of Condit Dam, salmon and steelhead are migrating up the cold waters of the White Salmon River. Fish biologists from the Yakama Nation’s Fisheries program have documented multiple adult salmon jumping at BZ Falls and Husum Falls in the past week.

[caption id="attachment_4218" align="alignright" width="491" caption="Photo by Jeannette Burkhardt"]

Steelhead jumping up waterfall at BZ Corner

This photo captured by Jeannette Burkhardt, from Yakama Nations Fisheries, shows a steelhead trout jumping up BZ Falls. This part of the river has been inaccessible to migrating fish since the dam's completion.

 On October 26, 2011, after years of negotiations, the dam was breached and the reservoir drained. The dam owner, Pacificorp, is expected to complete the dam removal by fall 2012, and biologists are hopeful that fall chinook will return to spawn in September.

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Check out our video of the dam demolition and newly freed river: