Mill town Dam on the Clark Fork in Montana. Major sediment contamination from the copper smelter in Anaconda. Essentially a blip on the screen in long term effects downriver.I imagine there is a huge sediment problem with those dams. Many years to accumulate, and I'm glad I don't have to figure out how not to devastate the river downstream when they unleash it. How do they do it? Let it go during high flow periods?
Right, I don’t think they plan to remove all 4 dams concurrently; it will be somewhat phased I think. But basically, it’s short term pain, long term gain—suck it up for a little while (on a river’s geologic timescale, almost nothing).Mill town Dam on the Clark Fork in Montana. Major sediment contamination from the copper smelter in Anaconda. Essentially a blip on the screen in long term effects downriver.
Yeah it’d be cool to see a detailed project plan! I’d assume they’d have some kinda geotechnical firm taking borings of the sediment down there and testing for all manner of organic and inorganic contents. It seems like big, multi-stakeholder projects like this often do push out a publicly accessible planning document. Hopefully if/when one comes out someone will post it here.I would be concerned about the level of nutrients in the sediment, and whether that could trigger low oxygen event in the river that would not be survivable. I hope it is not being overlooked and they have a plan. I think this sediment is quite different from that in the Elwha or that in the Clark Fork. There's a lot of goose poop in those lakes.
This is just a gut feeling, I would love to hear from someone who has more info.
Not to sound like the Grinch, but if these dam removals go like all the others they'll remove the dams but this action won't restore the fish runs. At the same time, if they get 7 chinook salmon in Klamath Lake they'll claim its a huge environmental victory.
Then there will be a huge flood.
I appreciate your response Dave and understand your skepticism, too. It takes a lot of money to remove these dams and the benefit of the removal should outweigh the cost, something that is very hard to quantify. I would share more of your skepticism if the dams that have been removed around the NW were economically viable and were producing significant amounts of energy to the grid while providing fish passage without significantly effecting the up and down stream habitat. That hasn't been the case with any of the dam removals that I am aware of.Obviously, I'm skeptical. At the same time, I support your optimism and I'm personally glad you & others have it to sustain you thru a recovery that will require a ton of patience.
The Elwha dams were removed 7 years ago, the projected rebound didn't happen and the fishing closure has been extended an additional two years.
The same thing happened on the Sandy River. Marmot dam was removed in 2007, which I think is great. Unfortunately the over-hyped anadromous fish recovery literally did not happen and the fishing has gotten steadily worse every year. However, at least the Sandy is open to fishing.
I would submit there is a very big difference between "recovery" and "not extinct" and that the non-profits that are pumping out the "dam removal will solve everything" message are doing more harm than good. As far as fish recovery is concerned, its another shiny object.