National Park Service Announces Recovery Act Contract Award for Lower Elwha Tribe Fish Hatchery

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Date: September 18, 2009
Contact: Barb Maynes, Olympic National Park, 360-565-3005
Contact: Samantha Richardson, NPS Denver Service Center, 303-969-2825

The National Park Service’s Denver Service Center (DSC) today announced the award of a contract to construct a new fish hatchery on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe Reservation six miles west of Port Angeles, Washington. James W. Fowler Co. General Contractors of Dallas, Oregon will be the prime contractor for construction of this $16,364,094 project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The new hatchery will help maintain existing Elwha River fish stocks during removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams and will produce coho, pink, and chum salmon and steelhead vital to restoration of the Elwha ecosystem. The existing Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Rearing Channel will continue to support the river’s Chinook salmon population. The fish hatchery must be completed and in place before dam removal can begin.

“At the heart of Elwha restoration is restoration of the river’s native fish populations,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. “This new hatchery will allow the Tribe to raise populations of salmon and steelhead that will used in restoring the Elwha River after the dams are gone.”

“The tribe has been working on Elwha River restoration for 30 years,” said Robert Elofson, Elwha River Restoration Director for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. “We are happy to begin the first of three large tribal projects that are part of restoring the river.”

Construction of the Lower Elwha Tribe Fish Hatchery is scheduled to begin this fall and take 16 months to complete. The project will consist of:

  • site and access road improvements,
  • water supply and drainage pipelines,
  • water supply wells,
  • two buildings,
  • fish culture facilities including raceways, ponds, and adult holding ponds,
  • a fish ladder, and
  • related mechanical and electrical systems.

The fish hatchery project was designed by the Bellevue offices of MWH. Construction management services will be provided by the PBS&J Corporation.

The Elwha River Ecosystem Restoration project is our nation’s largest dam removal to date and one of the largest construction projects in the history of the National Park Service. Removing two aging dams on the Elwha River will restore the river to its natural free-flowing state and allow all five species of Pacific salmon and other anadromous fish to once again reach over 70 miles of near-pristine freshwater habitat. In turn, the salmon will return vital nutrients to the watershed, restoring the entire ecosystem, from insects to eagles.

“Elwha River restoration has been and will be a priority for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe until the river is restored,” added Elofson.

This project is one of nearly 800 projects totaling $750 million across the National Park Service that will be completed with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

A full listing of National Park Service Recovery Act projects throughout the country, along with progress reports for each project, are available at

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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