• Salmon spawning in newly-opened reaches of White Salmon River

    Summer 2014: Salmon are starting to use the newly-opened spawning habitat above the former Condit Dam on Washington’s White Salmon River. U.S. Geological Survey redd surveys of the first six river miles of the White Salmon in the two years (2012 and 2013) following the dam’s removal found the highest densities of redds located in the first two miles upstream of the river mouth. A number of redds were also found in the three miles above the dam’s former location. ESA-listed Chinook salmon were the most likely to use those areas.


    Removal of Condit Dam  

    Before the dam was removed in 2011, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists captured about 60 to 80 adult fish in the river below the dam and released them above the dam.  Other salmon made their way up to spawn after the dam was removed.


    LIDAR flights in 2012 and 2013 by PacifiCorp also helped the USGS map the topography of the river channel. In addition to informing fish habitat conservation goals, habitat and redd surveys will help point to suitable areas for future development and recreation that are consistent with those goals for fish. 

    “All the fish biologists are interested to see what will happen as this next year unfolds,” said USGS biologist Jill Hardiman. “The river is changing and it is going to continue to change.”

    The work was made possible through a grant from the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board to the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Board.



    White Salmon River - down stream from dam removal


  • Project at a glance

    Location: White Salmon River, Washington 


    Biological objectives: Increase salmon spawning and rearing habitat and passage. 


    Species: ESA-listed Chinook salmon and steelhead. 


    Partners: U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Board, Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board