2020 Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund: Kwoneesum Dam Removal Project

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Riparian Habitat
Project IDKwoneesum
Recovery DomainsWillamette R. - Lower Columbia
Start Date07/01/2020
End Date12/31/2024
Last Edited04/27/2022
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The Cowlitz Indian Tribe proposes to remove Kwoneesum dam and restore anadromous access to 6.5 miles of productive spawning and rearing habitat and re-establish sediment and wood transport processes to benefit downstream reaches. Tribe will also restore the former reservoir bed and install wood structures in Wildboy Creek and its tributaries, totaling 1.2 miles of in-stream restoration. In-stream restoration activities will include constructing numerous, channel spanning large wood structures (log jams) and rootwad attached whole trees, to create velocity breaks, trap mobile gravel and backwater sections of the bedrock-dominated streambed. These channel spanning structures will be backfilled with alluvium and sealed to the bedrock channel, resulting in back-water pools to increase summer rearing habitat for juveniles, and spawning substrate for summer steelhead adults. This is the implementation of the this Washington Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) design project (#17-1069) funded in 2017. The PCSRF grant funds will paired with a SRFB restoration grant (RCO #20-1176), Brian Abbott Fish Barrier Removal Board Fund, and other private sources for project implementation. The Tribe, RCO, and PCSRF staff have discussed and agreed to identify certain work types to prevent redundancy or double counting; RCO will report on the Instream and Fish Passage restoration metrics and PCSRF will report Riparian Planting metrics.

Project Benefit    

Fish Passage

The removal of Kwoneesum Dam will restore fish access to 6.5 miles of productive Wildboy tributary spawning and rearing habitat and re-establish sediment and wood transport processes to benefit miles of downstream reaches. Installing in-stream logjams in a total of 1.2 miles of Wildboy Creek and within the former reservoir footprint, will increase the diversity and quantity of rearing and spawning habitat in the project area. The log structures will increase the abundance of stable spawning habitat to increase egg incubation, while also providing complex habitat diversity to benefit fry colonization and rearing. The removal of Kwoneesum Dam will drain the reservoir, thereby unobstructed cool water flowing to downstream reaches and remedying the current summertime thermal pollution issue caused by the impoundment.

Sediment reclamation/nourishment

Sort 20,000 cubic yards of reservoir excavation spoils materials generated during dam construction in 1964-65. The reclaimed spoil material will be sorted into three piles, with large cobbles/small boulders, gravels, and topsoil and utilized in channel restoration activities and riparian enhancement within the reservoir footprint. All of the native alluvium will be transported and placed in the tributary channels in the reservoir footprint or added to Wildboy creek logjams located downstream of the dam removal. Additional spawning gravels and cobble will be added to the degraded channels to provide rearing habitat for juveniles and spawning substrate for returning steelhead and coho adults.

Riparian Restoration

Promote a new riparian stand by planting thousands of native plants and trees in the newly formed floodplain in the footprint of the Kwoneesum reservoir, equal to 10 acres of riparian restoration. The proposed planting plan will be planted in high densities near the channel margins and include trees and shrub species likely to attract hungry beavers, We expect the site will be occupied by beaver colonies and develop into a mature, diverse riparian and floodplain forest to provide long-term wood recruitment supply, shade, and macrodetrital inputs.


Metric Completed Originally
Riparian Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .50
  Acres Treated 10.0

Funding Details

Report Total:$509,693

Project Map



  • Worksite Identifier: Kwoneesum
  • Start Date: 10/22/2020
  • End Date: 12/31/2024
Area Description
Wildboy Creek and Kwoneesum Dam

Location Information

  • Basin: Lower Columbia
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Willamette R. - Lower Columbia
  • Latitude: 45.671215
  • Longitude: -122.218931


  • Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon ESU
  • Lower Columbia River Steelhead DPS




  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding .00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.3
      Monitoring text (from Phase I)
    •      . . C.5 Riparian Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.5.a Riparian Habitat Funding
      •      . . . . C.5.b.1 Total riparian miles streambank treated
      •      . . . . C.5.b.2 Total Riparian Acres Treated
      •      . . . . C.5.c.1 Riparian plantingY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.5.c.2
          Species of plants planted in riparian
        •      . . . . . . C.5.c.3 Acres planted in riparian
        •      . . . . . . C.5.c.4 Miles of streambank treated with riparian planting