The Elwha River was once one of the most productive salmon streams in the Pacific Northwest, home to all five species of Pacific salmon, as well as other fish species. But salmon have been blocked from all but the lowest five miles of the river since the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams were built in the the early 1900s. More on anadromous fish in the Elwha.
Removal of the two dams will restore the Elwha River to its natural, free-flowing state and will once again allow fish to access more than 70 river miles of pristine spawning habitat now protected within Olympic National Park. Once the dams are removed and the river restored, the river will once again produce historic levels of salmon and steelhead, with numbers exceeding 390,000 returning adult fish annually. Find out more about restoration approaches for each individual species, or read the full Elwha River Fish Restoration Plan.