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Last Elwha reservoir gone

October 29th, 2012 - 6:04am

(Port Angeles) -- The final pool behind the Glines Canyon dam has drained.

Crews conducted the final controlled blast at the dam site last week.

Olympic National Park officials say although another 65 vertical feet of the dam are still standing, the blast removed enough of the dam to drain the remaining pool of Lake Mills.

There's a new 22-foot-wide notch in the dam, lowering the active river channel to an elevation of 450 feet. When the dam is completely gone, the final river channel will be at about a 400 foot elevation.

Scientists are now seeing courser sediments moving downstream from the dam, adding sand and gravel movement to the silt and clay already being transported by the river. New sand deposits can now be seen in the river's middle 'reach', the section between Glines Canyon and the old Elwha Dam site.

Crews will stop sediment releasing work this week for another two-month-long fish window. More notching of the remaining parts of the dam will resume in January.

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