Nisqually River to flow freely after dike removal

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Nisqually River is about to begin flowing freely near its mouth for the first time in a century.

The Olympian newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/nHSQGu ) that the last major dike removal in the river's estuary is set to be completed next week.

The 6,670 feet of earthen dike pulled out of the river delta caps nearly 12 years of estuary restoration work where the river flows into Puget Sound. In that time, federal and Nisqually Tribe officials say more than 8 miles of dike have been removed, recovering 900 acres of estuary.

The idea is to let the river develop more channels for fish. The delta is a prime habitat for young salmon.

The dikes were built to create pasture and farmland on the west side of the river and access for duck hunters on the east side.

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Information from: The Olympian, http://www.theolympian.com