Skookum Dam removal highlights

Free-flowing Fawcett Creek after the removal of the Skookum Dam.

Free-flowing Fawcett Creek after the removal of the Skookum Dam.

Not all stream barriers are located at road crossings. The earthen Skookum Dam on Fawcett Creek, built in 1965 atop a natural slide, was at risk of failing, endangering homes and bridges downstream while cutting off access for numerous species to almost two miles of upstream habitat, including the Tillamook watershed’s only lake system. To avoid catastrophe and restore habitat, the Tillamook Bay Watershed Council and numerous SSH partners worked together to remove of the dam, rebuild the stream channel and plant the construction area with native vegetation.

Gravels are now moving in, legacy wood is emerging, and pools and backwaters are forming, setting the stage for spawning and rearing as fish move back into the area — while bridges and homes now stand in safety downsteam. The restored system is an excellent example of a project with dual conservation and public safety benefits.

LKE Corporation was the construction company, and engineering was provided by River Design Group and Boatwright Engineering.


• 2 miles of stream habitat plus the watershed’s only lake reopened to 5 fish species and other aquatic organisms

• Relief from danger of flooding to homes and bridges downstream


Tillamook Bay Watershed Council, City of Tillamook, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, OR Dept. of Fish and Wildlife