Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dam Removed with a Bang

On October 1, the NOAA Restoration Center, the California Department of Fish and Game and other partners removed the Whites Gulch Dam using powerful explosives, and the removal was captured on video. The video is now available online.

The Whites Gulch River was once home to such a large population of salmon that citizens claimed they could walk across the river on their backs. But in the late 1800s, a dam was built on the river that blocked salmon from reaching their upstream spawning habitat, and populations are dwindling.

The removal of this and another nearby dam, in combination with the removal of a barrier downstream later this year, will open up 1.5 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for spring Chinook salmon and threatened coho salmon and steelhead trout. The project will provide benefits to native riverine fish and wildlife, and improve safety for nearby communities.

To view the video of the removal, click here.

SOURCE: NOAA Restoration Center