Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Enloe Dam on Similkameen River near Oroville to be removed
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altasnob
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PostSun Nov 08, 2020 8:52 pm 
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Enloe Dam has no license to produce electricity, hasn’t generated a kilowatt since 1958, and provides no benefits for irrigation or flood control.

But one thing Enloe Dam, built 100 years ago, still does very, very well: block fish from reaching more than 340 miles of high-quality, cold-water habitat upstream in the Similkameen River.

The dam is of no use to anyone, not the small rural public utility district (PUD) that owns it, and not to tribes longing to bring salmon back to this river. Obstacles of cost, liability and a quest by the PUD to revive the dam for more than a decade stood in the way of removal.

But now new efforts are underway to take down Enloe Dam.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/a-dam-blocking-348-miles-of-salmon-streams-hasnt-generated-electricity-since-1958-but-who-will-take-it-down/
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jinx'sboy
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PostSun Nov 08, 2020 9:49 pm 
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I have been trying to get more educated about this issue.  I am a member (i.e. owner) of the ‘small PUD’ that owns the Dam.  I have been puzzled about why the PUD continues to spend time and $$ on looking at this.  IMO, it doesnt make much sense to consider a retro-fit/re-build of this infrastructure, given the cheap dam-generated electricity already available.  But, the Okanogan PUD efforts on this issue have been on-going for 15+ years, or more.

However, I have heard a couple of positions in opposition to dam removal that I wonder about:

1) where do the silted heavy metals end up?  There were large milling and mining operations across the Border in Keremeos and elsewhere along the Similkameen R.  In contrast - the Elwha dam removal sent silt to the ocean just a few miles away.  The silt storage behind this dam is hundreds of miles - and many Columbia dams and further silting areas - away from the ocean.

2) Apparently, BC fisheries folks (and maybe BC first nations people) do NOT want the addition of ‘new’ genes into their landlocked fish species?   I don’t know if this is a real threat or not...
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Pyrites
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 2:19 am 
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A photo of Similkameen Falls, prior to dam construction.

https://www.loc.gov/resource/hhh.wa0183.photos/?sp=18
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treeswarper
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 6:28 am 
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Yah, this is not new news.  Perhaps the PUD has a complex due to not owning a dam like Chelan and Douglas Counties? tongue.gif

It's been dam on, dam off for some time.

I'd really like to see the rail trail extended, dam or no dam.  Oroville's got a good thing going with that.

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Sculpin
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 9:01 am 
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One thing to keep in mind is that no dam has ever come down for environmental reasons, and we are not close to starting that now.  The Elwha dams, and other dams that have come down, came down for economic reasons.  The prospective Elwha fish run had to get to something like 100X the value of the power before removal was even considered.

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treeswarper
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 10:42 am 
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The PUD has a lot of money invested in the various feasibility studies.  I think they are trying not to commit that chunk of change to a loss of face and money.


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Schroder
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 11:01 am 
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I would think the dam in Tumwater Canyon would be a candidate for removal too. It hasn't been used since 1956.
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Kim Brown
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 11:48 am 
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So, you're saying it's been a flop; and has been that way since 1956?

Sounds like a perfect lyric for a song.  wink.gif

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treeswarper
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 11:59 am 
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Schroder wrote:
I would think the dam in Tumwater Canyon would be a candidate for removal too. It hasn't been used since 1956.

Fish make it over that one.  My folks used to haul us up there to watch the fishies jump over the dam..and they swam and they swam (but jumped) over the dam.

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Pyrites
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 2:14 pm 
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A virtue of complete removal of a fish passage barrier is long term effect.

How do you calculate net present value on an investment that presents yields forever?

Best.
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Ski
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PostMon Nov 09, 2020 3:19 pm 
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Pyrites wrote:
"A virtue of complete removal..."

... of any barrier or obstruction which interferes with or blocks the natural flow of the stream is the restoration of the natural processes by which gravels and sediments migrate downstream.
Another benefit is that the natural processes upstream from the obstruction are also restored: dams and other obstructions interfere with (and usually have some detrimental effects) on natural processes on the uphill side as well.

The example demonstrated on the lower Elwha was mind-boggling in its scale.

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treeswarper
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PostSun Nov 15, 2020 11:20 am 
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Big big article about the Similkameen Dam in Saturday's Wenatchee World.  You need to have a subscription to read it, I think.

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Schroder
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PostSun Nov 15, 2020 11:50 am 
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Worth watching if you haven't seen it:

Pilchuck River Dam removal live webcam
Hit the display controls on the upper left and then hit the play button to watch from the start of the project
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Pyrites
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PostSun Nov 15, 2020 12:01 pm 
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The falls as shown in the old photo are formidable. Apparently fish, at least some, got over them. Are there complete blocking falls above? If the dam was removed could chinook or steelhead go up the Similkameen, to the Pasayten? Would there be anadromous fish in river just below the old airstrip?

Best.
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treeswarper
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PostSun Nov 15, 2020 4:21 pm 
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See if this works.



https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/wenatcheeworld.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/eedition/2/34/23449601-4633-5ee6-ae7d-d4f5fbc71096/5faedc7b11dbd.pdf.pdf


second part

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Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Enloe Dam on Similkameen River near Oroville to be removed
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