The Elwha River historically supported one of the most abundant and diverse populations of salmon, steelhead, trout, and char on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. However, two dams were constructed almost 100 years ago without passage for these fish. Both dams are now scheduled for removal from 2011-2014 as a primary means of restoring the river and its fish populations.
No other game fish in the Pacific Northwest is more iconic and revered than wild steelhead born of wild and free rivers. The Elwha River dam removals provide the unique opportunity to revive a system to its full potential for wild steelhead and other salmonids. The project is considered the second highest restoration priority in the National Park system behind the Everglades.
To help 'jump start' the river's recovery process the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has constructed a series of engineered logjams (ELJ), which are designed to mimic natural logjams that help store sediment, improve instream habitat for salmonids, and increase floodplain stream habitat. The Wild Steelhead Coalition's collaborative work in revegetating the ELJs is imperative to the growth and survival of wild steelhead, salmon, and char. To this end, funding from Orvis and Orvis customers will directly contribute to one of the largest and most notable ecosystem restoration projects in United States history.
You can help. As part of our global commitment to protect nature, Orvis has established a goal of $60,000 for this project and will match customer donations dollar for dollar up to $30,000. Every $100 you donate becomes $200 supporting the Wild Steelhead Coalition's work on the Elwha. Send your check to the Wild Steelhead Coalition, c/o The Orvis Company, 178 Conservation Way, Sunderland, VT 05250 or donate online.