Dam Removal Restoration
Students from the Wind River Middle School have been monitoring dam removal restoration work on Trout Creek — a tributary of the Wind River — since 2008. Hemlock Dam was removed from Trout Creek in 2009 and students are monitoring the return of the creek to its pre-dam state. Students are tracking changes in water quality, macroinvertebrate population, stream bed profile, and amphibian population.
Since the dam’s removal, students have found that water temperature dropped, levels of dissolved oxygen have risen, the stream has returned to a channel and a flood plain, and the stream bed is now full of gravel instead of silt. All of these changes make the native steelhead very happy!
In 2011, students around the Gorge had a once-in-a-lifetime change to witness the largest dam removal in North America. Condit Dam was breached on October 26, 2011. Students participated in the dam removal and restoration by learning about the dam and monitoring water quality before and after the breach.