Stump Emerging from Sediment, Elwha River
Last year, this stump was buried in the sediment behind it, and both were at the bottom of Lake Aldwell, impounded by the Elwha dam. It had been that way for 100 years. Dorothy and I spent this weekend camping in the Elwha valley, in Olympic National Park. We were there mostly to see the restoration of the Elwha River, which is the biggest dam removal and river restoration project in North America. The Elwha dam is gone, and the Glines Canyon dam is mostly gone. The Elwha is busy removing the vast amount of sediment that had piled up in the reservoirs. And, best of all, the legendary Elwha salmon are already repopulating the newly accessible parts of the river. There once were hundreds of thousands of salmon and steelhead running up this river, including 100-pound Chinook. The watershed is still almost entirely intact, and most of it is in Olympic National Park, so with luck it could support runs like that again. Keep your fingers crossed.