Study: “Trapped” Elwha River Steelhead Maintained Genetic Diversity While Isolated Above Former Dam

steelhead - NOAA

The Elwha River continues to be a beacon of hope for what can happen when watersheds are returned to their natural state, free of manmade dams. A study, which began back in 2004, has determined that the steelhead population trapped above the (former) Elwha Dam maintained their genetic diversity as well as the genetics necessary to return to their typical anadromous lifestyle in a dam-free system. The project written about in the study was run by NOAA scientists and began in 2004 in anticipation of the dam’s eventual demolition in 2012.

You can read more about the study on Peninsula Daily News.

Or, dive into the study’s full text here courtesy of the Gene journal.

Featured image courtesy of NOAA.

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