The White Salmon River is Now Free!

by Zachary Collier

BOOM, went the dynamite at 12:10 PM on the White Salmon River. The water hurtled forth in a frothy, gray gusher as the crowds cheered this historic explosion. It was an amazing site to see this sad, dry riverbed come alive almost instantly with churning whitewater. Northwestern Lake (the dam's reservoir) already looks like a river again, 30 minutes later.

Over 10 years of effort by American Rivers and the Yakama Indian Nation have culminated in the blast that will drain the reservoir. Boaters and river conservationists from throughout the Northwest gathered in Husum, Washington to celebrate this historic event.

Here is some video taken from a tour of Condit Dam about an hour after the blast:

The Condit Dam will soon be history allowing the snows of Mount Adams to tumble freely into the Columbia River restoring miles of habitat for steelhead and Chinook salmon. This is the second-largest dam removal project in the country, at 125 feet tall and almost 100 years old.

The White Salmon River after the removal of Condit Dam

The White Salmon River after the removal of Condit Dam

Originally Published: | Updated on



Zachary Collier

Owner of Northwest Rafting Company, Zach Collier combines international guiding experience in places like Siberia, Bhutan, and Chile with a natural business acumen for systems and logistics. Whether he’s on big water or in the back office, Zach strives to ensure NWRC offers exceptional whitewater and wilderness experiences for guests and guides alike.

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