Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Instant river, just add water

The so-called Chelan River works if you add water. See photo (right).

According to the online-only Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

The Chelan County Public Utility District is spending nearly $16 million to restore year-round flow to the Chelan River Gorge, a four-mile stretch of river that tumbles from the dam at the foot of Lake Chelan to the Columbia River, about 400 feet below.

As a test, crews started spilling water Monday into the normally dry river bed. Water pooled near the river's mouth and spilled into a carefully engineered channel with strategically placed boulders, logs and rocks, all to provide new spawning habitat for steelhead and chinook salmon.

"It's one thing to look at the drawings, but when you see how the water actually flows around the boulders and wood structures and riffle, it's another story," biologist Steve Hays, the PUD's fish and wildlife senior adviser, told The Wenatchee World.

It's great to see water put back in a river, and it's truly strange to know that there are rivers around the world that have all their water removed. It's a traveshamockery (a borrowed phrase that means a travesty of a sham of a mockery).

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