Sediment from Elwha river begins to enter sea

Published:

 

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) -- Backed up for decades, murky sediment from the newly liberated Elwha River has begun to form a plume as it empties into the blue waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Peninsula Daily News reports Sunday (http://bit.ly/JUByL5) that river flows have spiked in recent weeks as winter turned to spring and dam removal continues, causing a plume of silt visible to the naked eye.

The last remnants of the 108-foot Elwha Dam, which formed Lake Aldwell 5 miles upstream from the river's mouth, were removed in March. Its 210-foot counterpart, which forms Lake Mills 9 miles upstream, is about halfway gone as part of the $325 million federal project to restore the river's legendary salmon runs.

River restoration director Robert Elofson says the sediment is not killing fish.