With mixed feelings I watched a live video stream today of the deconstruction of Condit Dam, eliminating the beautiful Northwestern Lake that has existed for 100 years on the White Salmon River.

The final decision to remove the dam after a 20 year debate seemed to be finally made because it was more economical than installing fish ladders.

I think the conservationists overstated the numbers of returning salmon; yet it’ll be interesting to see what happens. I do hope their optimism will bear out & the salmon population doubles.

I will miss Northwestern Lake, where many picnics and rafting trips down the White Salmon River were enjoyed.  The lake was shallow enough for kids to swim safely, surrounded by beautiful forest and a serene park and picnic area.

I have friends who live near the lake who may now have to drill deeper wells for their water.  Personally, as the lake was lowered all summer during construction phase of the breach, I felt a sense of loss for this beautiful lake that I’ve enjoyed for 25 yrs.

Yet, in a way, I’m excited to watch the White Salmon River go back to it’s natural state.  I look forward to what new discoveries lie waiting along the river’s shore.

This series of photos are a comparison of this summer and last summer along the banks of Northwestern Lake.

Today at noon 700 lbs of dynamite blew a hole at the base of Condit dam, setting free 2.4 million cubic yards of trapped sediment, thus ending the life of Northwestern Lake:

  • If I find video of the lake draining, I’ll add it here in an edit.
    In the meantime, here’s a screen grab from PacifiCorp’s homepage.
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