Proceedings of the 2011 Elwha River Science Symposium

Compiled by: Kiley BarberoTara MorrowAnne ShafferJeffrey J. DudaKurt J. JenkinsBarbara Blackie, and Cathy Lear



After years of anticipation, volumes of Environmental Impact Statements, multiple mitigation projects, and the multidisciplinary collection of predam removal data, the deconstruction phase of the Elwha River restoration officially began on September 17th, 2011. With their simultaneous decommissioning, the removal of the 64 m tall Glines Canyon Dam and the 33 m tall Elwha Dam represents one of the largest such projects of its kind in North America. It’s also an excellent opportunity to study large-scale ecosystem restoration, as the majority of the reconnected habitat that will become available to recolonizing salmon occurs in the protected wilderness areas of Olympic National Park. As part of a week-long series of ‘Celebrate Elwha’ events, which culminated with a moving ceremony commemorating the official launch of dam removal, I was proud to work with a number of dedicated people, listed below, to organize the two day 2011 Elwha River Science Symposium.

Many of the scientists working on the Elwha project have regularly met, since around 2004, for annual meetings. Loosely organized under the auspices of the Elwha Research and Elwha Nearshore consortia, the annual meetings have been informative for many reasons, including the sharing of study plans, field schedules, and preliminary results. It has been a great way for groups of physical scientists and groups of biologists to learn about the questions of interest to each group and to explore areas of overlap. In some cases, these meetings have spawned new collaborations, synergies, and research directions. In planning for the 2011 Elwha River Science Symposium, we sought to retain this espirit de corps, but realized that the start of dam removal heralded an important new phase of the project and called for an event that celebrated this special occasion. 

Study Area

Table of Contents

Oral Presentations

Fish and Wildlife

A Riverscape Perspective of Fish and Habitat Throughout 45 Miles of the Elwha River Prior to Dam Removal. Samuel J. Brenkman, Jeffrey J. Duda, et al.

Use of a Floating Weir to Assess Salmonids in the Elwha River Prior to Dam Removal. Kent Mayer, Mara Zimmerman, et al.

Resident Rainbow Trout Populations are Genetically Divergent From One Another and From Downstream Anadromous Steelhead in the Elwha River. Gary A. Winans and John Baker

Where We Are Today: A Quantitative Baseline for Assessing Response of Elwha River Chinook Salmon to Dam Removal. Mara Zimmerman, Kent Mayer, et al.

Riparian Mammal and Amphibian Communities Prior to Dam Removal and Ecosystem Restoration in the Elwha Valley, Washington. Kurt Jenkins, Nathan Chelgren, et al.

Enaging Birds in Elwha Vegetation Restoration. John McLaughlin

Elwha Aquatic Foodweb Research: Baseline, Experimental, and Future Datasets. Sarah Morley, Jeffrey Duda, et al.

A Genetic Analysis Comparing Pink Salmon in the Elwha and Dungeness Rivers. Maureen P. Small, Alice E. Fry, et al.

River Physical Science

Elwha River Restoration: Adaptive Sediment Management and Monitoring Program. Jennifer Bountry, Tim Randle, et al.

The Morphodynamics of Sediment Movement Through a Reservoir During Dam Removal. Chris Bromley, Colin Thorne, et al.

An Overview of Elwha River Hydrology and Its Role in Ecosystem Restoration. Christopher P. Konrad

Monitoring of Suspended-Sediment Load in the Lower Elwha River, Washington, USA, During the First Two Years of Dam Removal. Christopher S. Magirl, Christopher A. Curran, et al.

Influence of Dams on Floodplain Dynamics and Grain Size Distributions in the Elwha River, and Expected Responses to Dam Removal. Tim Beechie, Kris Kloehn, et al.

Channel Evolution on the Dammed Elwha River, 1939 to 2010. Amy E. Draut, Joshua B. Logan, et al.

Results of 12 Years of Habitat Restoration in the Lower Elwha River and Preparation for Dam Removal. Mike McHenry, Tim Abbe

The Importance of Floodplain Channels in the Elwha River Dam Removal. George Pess, Mike McHenry, et al.

Nearshore Physical Science

Dispersal of Fine Sediment From the Elwha River — the Potential Effects of Dam Removal on Coastal Turbidity and Sedimentation. Guy Gelfenbaum, Jonathan Warrick, et al.

The Elwha Delta: Shrinking or Growing? Ian Miller, Jon Warrick, et al.

Fine-Grained Sediment Dispersal from the Elwha River, Present and Future, and Expectations for Seabed Changes Near the Mouth of the Elwha River in the Coastal Strait of Juan de Fuca. Andrea S. Ogston, Charles A. Nittrouer, et al.

The Elwha River Estuary – An Overview of Its Morphology and Hydrology. Jonathan Warrick and Matt Beirne


Archeological Research in the Elwha Valley: How River Restoration Has Contributed to Understanding Native American Use of the Elwha Watershed. Dave Conca and Kim Kwarsick

Manufacturing a New Hydroscape Era: Semantics of Restoration in the Elwha Waters. Enrique Lanz Oca

Removal of Elwha and Glines Dams — Revisiting Benefits. Philip Meyer

The Elwha River: Its Human History Jacilee Wray, Adeline Smith, et al.


Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Title Proceedings of the 2011 Elwha River Science Symposium
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Coastal Watershed Institute
Publisher location Port Angeles, Washington
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosys Science Center, Western Fisheries Research Center
Description vii, 68 p.
Conference Title Elwha River Science Symposium
Conference Location Port Angeles, Washington
Conference Date September 14-16, 2011
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Elwha River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details