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Last week, PacifiCorp quietly announced it had finished removing the Condit Dam. Now, biologists and kayakers are rediscovering this once-lost stretch of river.
Pink salmon are returning to the White River by the hundreds of thousands but many of them won't make it past this barrier.
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The Condit Dam removal helped endangered salmon. But is removing dams the new norm?
The White Salmon River Runs Free: Breaching the Condit Dam
Two weeks ago, the base of the Condit Dam was blown up, and the White Salmon River flowed free for the first time in a century. Scientists watched as the reservoir behind the dam drained in just an hour and a half, the White Salmon River taking huge chunks of the shoreline with it as it charged downstream. Now scientists will be watching the movement of sediment, as the river carries it from the muddy, empty reservoir down to the Columbia and out to the ocean. As the sediment disperses more evenly, it provides more breeding ground for salmon now returning to the river.
Just over a year ago, engineers blasted a hole in the base of Condit Dam in south central Washington. That allowed the White Salmon River to run free for the first time in nearly 100 years. The removal effort has continued throughout the past year, with crews finishing the work in September. Explosive Breach of Condit Dam from Andy Maser on Vimeo. This month, the White Salmon opened to kayakers for the first time, and OPB's Amelia Templeton was there for one of the first trips. We'll hear about how the river is recovering all the way from the canyon, where Northwestern Lake used to be, to below the former dam site.
We're entering the Fall arts season, so we've got the visual art, dance, and theater picks for the weekend and coming month. Body Vox Dance Center opens its season with Horizontal Leanings. Profile Theater begins its 15th season with Terrance McNally's Lips Together, Teeth Apart. Portland Center Stage continues its run of Oklahoma! And David Eckard has a show opening at the Art Gym at Marylhurst University. Or, if you want to take advantage of the sun while we have it, we've got the outdoor picks for you. With Condit Dam coming down, the salmon that run the White Salmon River are being removed and dropped upstream. If you take a kayak or raft out, you can watch the new generation of salmon spawn. Plus climbing, kayaking, and hiking are all still great options before the snow sets in. Plus Portlandia star/Sleater-Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein's new band, Wild Flag, is playing a free in-studio sesion with OPB music.