Hyrdro Dam proposed on S. Fork Skykomish


Active Member
This may be old news but it was new to news to me.

Snohomish PUD has proposed placement of a hydroelectric dam on the South Fork of the Skykomish River near Sunset Falls. If you have ever traveled along Highway 2 or fished the upper Sky you know what a travesty damming this section of the river would be. According to estimates this dam would add about 1% to SnoPUDs total capacity. We already have too many dams and wind factories in this state. We should focus on energy conservation or sell a little less to California before we dam another river.

Please sign the petition here and share this with your fishing buddies.

Direct link to the petition


From the web site of the conservation group fighting this proposal


In Sept., 2011, Snohomish County Public Utility District submitted a preliminary permit application (FERC P-14295) to build a large scale hydroelectric project near Sunset Falls on the South Fork of The Skykomish River. The proposed project is directly below the popular trails leading to Lake Serene and Bridal Veil Falls. A proposed low head dam would divert water from the river above Sunset Falls. The proposed project is in conflict with with the Washington State Renewable Energy Standards and voter approved 1-937 mandates which exclude new fresh water dams from renewable energy credits.

Itchy Dog

Some call me Kirk Werner
A friend of mine helped to spearhead the opposition group, but I've not spoken to her in months. This is a good reminder for me to do so.
Be sure to look into the details before jumping in on this one. I'm certainly not for adding any more dams, but this looks like something different, and part of the deal seems to be rebuilding the fish ladder/haul system at sunset falls.


Well-Known Member

WDF, now WDFW, built a ladder and trap and haul system around the SF Sky falls in the mid-1950s to give anadromous fish access to the upper basin. In those days, stream habitat inhabited only by resident trout but not salmon, was thought to be going to waste. It likely would not be done today, but was pretty common in days gone by. WDF even stocked juvenile salmon above Snoqualmie Falls to take advantage of habitat that was going to waste producing only resident trout.

The upshot is that anadromous chinook, coho, pink, bull trout, and steelhead all inhabit the upper SF Sky these days.



Active Member
I'll admit have enjoyed the artificial summer steelhead fishery above sunset falls (WDFW trucks fish from Ringer to SF of the Sky) but there is no way a $150 million dollar dam that only increases power capabilities by 1% is worth getting a fish ladder repaired that never should have been there in the first place. Let's not use antiquated 1950's fishery management practices as an argument for anything conservation related.

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