The defunct 100-year-old Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in Washington State blocks access by salmon and steelhead to over 500 kilometres of high-quality river habitat, much of it in British Columbia. (Photo submitted by Alex Maier.)

The defunct 100-year-old Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in Washington State blocks access by salmon and steelhead to over 500 kilometres of high-quality river habitat, much of it in British Columbia. (Photo submitted by Alex Maier.)

An obsolete, environmentally harmful dam south of Osoyoos is one step closer to removal

The Enloe Dam hasn’t produced electricity since 1958; all it really does is block fish

The Enloe Dam just south of Osoyoos, across the U.S. border, hasn’t produced electricity since 1958 and provides no benefits for irrigation or flood control. All it really does is block fish from reaching more than 500 kilometres of high-quality, cold-water habitat upstream in the Similkameen River.

Efforts to remove the dam have underway for years, but are once again gaining traction thanks to recent support from BC’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

READ MORE: B.C. outdoor group calls for removal of U.S. dam

In a letter obtained by the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. from Minister George Heyman to Washington State decision-makers, the minister expressed his support for the decommissioning process of the Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River near Oroville, Washington.

Efforts are now underway in Washington, in consultation with Indigenous governments to determine the feasibility and costs of removing the Enloe Dam.

Removing the dam would help restore the river’s natural ecosystem, while also providing vital fish passage and new habitat for declining salmon and steelhead populations in the Similkameen River and its tributaries.

The Similkameen River starts east of Manning Provincial Park and flows freely past Princeton, Hedley, Keremeos and Cawston before crossing into the U.S.

Near Oroville, the river reaches the Enloe Dam, an 18-meter concrete wall.

The dam was constructed in 1920 but was never equipped with fish ladders to enable salmon migration. The dam subsequently eliminated salmon and steelhead runs from the Similkameen River and its tributaries in the U.S., and especially in B.C.

The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC (ORC) and its River Chair, Mark Angelo, have long been advocates for removing old dams that have outlived their usefulness but continue to have adverse environmental and recreational impacts.

“Removing the Enloe Dam would be a great opportunity for both governments to work together to help restore the Similkameen River’s natural ecosystem and we applaud the Province and Minister Heyman for their support of the dam decommissioning process,” said Angelo in a press release.

“Removing this obsolete dam would be a great step forward in restoring the Similkameen River and would be very beneficial to both Canada and the United States.”

The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC had previously encouraged the B.C. government to have direct dialogue with the state of Washington and the U.S. government regarding the importance of removing the dam and restoring the river’s natural flow.

The Outdoor Recreation Council said they are encouraged by Minister Heyman’s letter, which confirms that there is significant interest and support in B.C. for the removal of the obsolete Enloe Dam.

READ MORE: B.C. winery operator throws rock to protect his goats from menacing grizzly



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read