Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Looking Around

The contractors have returned the Elwha River to its original channel at the site of the former (FORMER!) Elwha Dam. Peninsula Daily News (see also the Seattle Times stories) and the Park's dam-removal blog tell us that

Elwha Dam, from the Dam Cams (original channel to left side of image) (Click for larger image.)

For the first time in a hundred years, salmon can move upriver a few more miles, until they reach Glines Canyon dam. (Salmon, come home. Salmon, come home.) Glines Canyon dam is a lot lower after six months of work, and will be completely removed as much as a year ahead of schedule, but is plainly still there for now.

Glines Canyon Dam, from the Dam Cams (Click for larger image.)

Thankies to both newspapers cited above, which are doing great work to keep us informed about the restoration of the Elwha River. We are by the way being welcomed to hike down to the delta at the south end of ever-shrinking Lake Mills. But it's all so very ugly, and will be for a long time... Not sure I'll trudge down there... Well of course I will. Eventually. One of the articles I read asked us please not to step on the plants. A lot of the native veg from the restoration greenhouses is already out there on the former lake bottoms.

It's gone on raining, a lot, and the snowpack up in the Park is suddenly deep.

Data from the Waterhole Sno-Tel on Hurricane Ridge (Click for larger image.)

In fact, all of Washington looks good for water storage in the mountains.

River Basin Snow Water Content (Click for larger image.)

There's a log ship at the T-pier. Will try to score some photos this afternoon.

I spared y'all the sight of dead birds when I wrote the blog post about Friday's survey at Hobuck Beach. But I wanted to mention that we found four dead birds. The tufted puffin had been buried in the sand to where only his beak showed; JL spotted him. The wind was blowing so hard someone had to hold down the immature gull for the record photographs, because the wings still functioned as sails and kept flipping up. The common loon was a re-find, first recorded the month before (protocol says you don't need to re-measure, or take more than one photo, for a re-find.) And the white-winged scoter, oh my, the scoter was fresh and soft and intact, a whole different experience to handle. You could almost imagine setting him on his feet and expecting him to go back to paddling around, except he was entirely limp and dead. We found him (her?) on the way back, by then dragging our bags of marine debris and our tired selves, and with the car in sight; not wonderfully pleased to have to drop baggage, rummage out the tools, and do another bird.

For context, here are the overall Beached Bird Patterns, from the COASST web site.

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