Photo: Ben Knight
On October 26, 2011, at 12pm in the afternoon, the Condit Dam came down. The White Salmon River, in Washington State, was free to flow for the first time in 100 years.
On November 11, 2012, just over one year later, the first organized float down the White Salmon River took place. The water was clear, salmon swam by, wildlife was abundant.
“You think back a year ago to when the blast happened, when all that sediment was let loose. Just a year later, the salmon are spawning in the lower river. It’s incredible how resilient the river and the salmon are. It’s a new river, and it’s still evolving so much.” Said Amy Kober of American Rivers.
In 1993, The Conservation Alliance funded American Whitewater for its campaign to implement a plan to improve recreational access to the nation's whitewater rivers and streams. A major component of that effort was to restore the White Salmon River in Washington State by removing the Condit Dam.
Nearly 20 years later, this project succeeded with the breaching of the dam, and restoration of the magnificent White Salmon River.
Learn more about The Joyous First Descent of a Newly Dam-Free River over at Adventure Journal.