The Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe, along with Western Washington University, is studying wildlife recolonization after dam removal on the sites of Lake Mills and Lake Aldwell. Lake Mills is the now-drained reservoir behind the former Glines Canyon Dam. Lake Aldwell is the now-drained reservoir behind the former Elwha Dam.
The researchers are looking at small mammals including the deer mouse, Keen’s Mouse, shrew and vole, as well as deer and elk. By studying scat, they can see what animals are returning and also what seeds they are dispersing into the lake beds. The seeds they find may predict what plants will become established in the newly-opened habitat.
Here’s a short video about the research project: Wildlife and the Elwha River Restoration.
Also, the second Elwha River Science Symposium took place November 18-20, 2015 at Lake Crescent. Here’s the program and abstracts.