Kwoneesum Dam Removal

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Fish Passage Improvement Instream Habitat
Project ID20-1176 R
Recovery DomainsWillamette R. - Lower Columbia
Start Date09/16/2020
End Date02/28/2025
Last Edited04/19/2022
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The Cowlitz Indian Tribe (Tribe) is requesting restoration funding to remove Camp Kwoneesum Dam, a documented fish passage barrier on Wildboy Creek, tributary to the West Fork Washougal River. The 55-foot-tall and 425-foot-long rock fill embankment dam creates a 9-acre reservoir and blocks all fish passage to 6.5 miles of productive tributary habitat. The Tribe plans to remove the dam during summer 2022, immediately restoring fish passage and reestablish downstream geomorphic processes to support the recovery of Washougal River coho salmon and summer steelhead populations. Our approach minimizes impacts to native aquatic inhabitants in the reservoir and surrounding tributaries during the removal and containment of 23,000 cubic yards of semi-suspended sediment within the reservoir. Project restoration work will include in-stream placement of large wood structures after the dam removal. The Tribe is currently developing the final design planset to remove Kwoneesum dam and restore fish access to a minimum of 6.5 miles of un-seeded, productive fish habitat for listed salmonids as well as resident trout and other native fish species.

Project Benefit    

The goal of this project requires the removal of Kwoneesum Dam, to restore access to 6.5 miles of fish habitat and reestablish geomorphic processes to support the recovery of Washougal River coho salmon and summer steelhead populations. This project will restore sediment and wood transport natural processes to benefit 1.81 miles of lower Wildboy Creek and the West Fork Washougal River. The log structures will backwater bedrock dominated reaches to create pools, provide complex rearing habitat and trap sediment. The resulting conditions will benefit spawning of adult steelhead and coho salmon and dramatically enhance rearing habitat for their offspring. The removal of Kwoneesum Dam will drain the reservoir and remove a thermal pollutant impacting native salmonid populations inhabiting Wildboy Creek. Project implementation will include sorting approximately 20,000 cubic yards of spoils material that was excavated from the reservoir during dam construction. These native sediments will be returned to the reservoir and three tributaries currently located at the bottom of the Camp Kwoneesum reservoir. Once construction is complete, the project site will take years to heal and mature, however we expect immediate fish use by summer steelhead and spawning in the headwaters of the three Wildboy Creek tributaries.


Metric Completed Originally
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated .73
Fish Passage
  Barriers Removed 1
  Miles Opened 6.50

Funding Details

Report Total:$3,946,811

Project Map


1-Kwoneesum Dam    

  • Worksite Identifier: 1-Kwoneesum Dam
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Lower Columbia
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Willamette R. - Lower Columbia
  • Latitude: 45.67104832
  • Longitude: -122.21883062


  • 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
    •      . . 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.2 Fish Passage ImprovementY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.2.a Fish Passage Funding
      •      . . . . C.2.b.1 Length of stream made accessible
      •      . . . . C.2.b.3 Type of blockage/barrier (LOV)
      •      . . . . C.2.b.4 Number of blockages/impediments/barriers impeding passage
      •      . . . . C.2.c.1 Fish passage blockages removed or altered (other than road crossings reported in C.2.f to C.2.i)Y (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.2.c.2 Number of blockages/impediments/barriers removed/altered
      •      . . C.4 Instream Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . C.4.a Instream Habitat Funding
        •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated
        •      . . . . C.4.d.1 Channel structure placementY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . C.4.d.2 Material used for channel structure (LOV)
          •      . . . . . . C.4.d.3 Miles of stream treated through channel structure placement
          •      . . . . . . C.4.d.5 Pools expected to be created through channel structure placement
          •      . . . . . . C.4.d.7 Number of structures placed in channel