Chelan County PUD recently shared the results of their Tumwater Dam Outreach Survey during the July 5 board meeting, which showed a split between those for and against the dam’s existence.

The Tumwater Dam Outreach Survey was sent out to gauge the community’s public opinion on the dam. 

The survey drew in roughly 100 respondents who responded in the five following categories: negative impacts to fish, dam removal impacts on roads and homes, those who want to keep it as-is, impacts to river flow, and cost for maintenance.

The Tumwater Dam was initially constructed back in 1908 to provide hydropower for trains traveling through Stevens Pass. It stopped producing power in 1956 and was purchased by Chelan PUD shortly after.

Nowadays, the dam is used to help monitor salmon populations for the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery. However, those who want to remove the dam state.

Some respondents shared that they wanted to remove the dam for recreational purposes, or that it’s an obstruction for fish passage, others wish to keep it to help stabilize fish populations.

The meeting concluded with a member on the board stating that they would be more comfortable with the upcoming maintenance changes if the river sediment was analyzed.

Chelan PUD is slated to spend $2.5 to $4 million for repairing the dam apron, which should begin in 2023.