Timeline of the Elwha River dams & Removal Efforts
1910 - Construction begins on the Elwha Dam (at river mile 4.9). Tribal members were opposed to it from the beginning
1912 - Elwha Dam blows out during construction, flooding the area downstream where many Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe members lived
1914 - Elwha Dam is completed; Lake Aldwell reservoir is created
1922 - Fish hatchery (which was built as part of the Elwha Dam project) closes
1925 - Construction begins on the Glines Canyon Dam (at river mile 13.6)
1927 - Glines Canyon Dam is completed; Lake Mills reservoir is created
1938 - Congress establishes Olympic National Park, which includes Glines Canyon Dam within its boundaries
1974 - Boldt decision in U.S. v. Washington upholds tribal fishing rights
1978 - Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe's fish hatchery is built
Late 1970’s – HUD Housing was not allowed due to Elwha River flooding safety concerns
1986 – Tribe and Sierra group filed a formal request to remove dams
1989 - Army Corps of Engineers completes dike on the Elwha River. Tribe obtains grant to begin studies for dam removal.
1990 – Federal Government begins to study dam removal
Early 90’s – HUD approves housing at the Lower Elwha Reservation
1992 - Congress passes Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act
1994 – Department of Interior determines that removal is necessary for full fisheries restoration
2000 - Federal government acquires Elwha River dams
2009 - Dam removal is postponed
2011 – June 1st - After 98 years generators at the dam powerhouse turned off forever.
June 13 - Lake Aldwell has already dropped 18 feet. The Elwha River is finding it's natural channel.
September 17 - 6 feet will be removed, dam removal begins.
November 1 - Elwha Rivers will close.