The world’s largest dam removal on California’s Klamath River continues progress, as work on removing Copco 2 Dam is completed. This is the first of four dams to be removed, ultimately restoring hundreds of stream-miles for migratory fish, wildlife, and river users. Copco 2 was located in the steep and deep Ward’s Canyon, effectively drying up 1.7 miles of riverbed. “Seeing the Klamath River flow through this canyon after being diverted for nearly a century is inspiring,” said Laura Hazlett, COO of KRRC. “It makes me excited for everything else that is to come with the removal of the other three dams.”
Klamath restoration is moving according to schedule, and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation will begin drawdown on the three remaining dams early in 2024 with complete removal by November 2024.
“Copco No 2 is the first dam to be removed due to its small stature, location, and lack of reservoir,” noted Mark Bransom, CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), the entity tasked with the safe and efficient removal of the four lower Klamath hydroelectric dams. “However, while Copco No. 2 was significantly smaller than the other dams slated for removal, it still had a significant impact on the river.”
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Talented videographer and documentarist Shane Anderson has been on site long since physical dam removal on the klamath began this past summer. Shane is working on a highly anticipated project documenting Klamath dam removal and restoration efforts. It’s one we are very much looking forward to–be sure to follow Shane for updates on all things Klamath. Also, stay tuned on the Flylords’ site for a long-form story on Klamath restoration efforts later this year.
Photos courtesy of Klamath River Renewal Corporation and Shane Anderson.