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January 30, 2012

Lake Cushman Dam & Landscape

Victoria here ...I recently spent the holidays at my parents house at Lake Cushman, and had some photographic luck while there...here's my story!

In 1926, Lake Cushman, just outside of Hoodsport, Washington, was expanded to accommodate a large lake/reservoir created by a hydroelectric dam. The dam has recently come under review by FERC for re-licensure and was required to add a fish ladder as well as a few upgrades. In order to perform the work, they had to drain the lake down to levels that have not been seen in more than 80 years. Loggers were hired in 1926 to cut all the trees that would eventually be underwater, but the tree stumps remained, as well as relics from the railroad system the loggers used. As you can see in the pictures, the roots have been exposed over the years and remind me of the trees from the second Lord of the Rings Movie, The Two Towers. It looks like they are either trying to get back to the water, or run far from it!

Though I have mixed feelings about dams, this particular dam, and the lake it created, holds some sentimentality to me. My grandparents bought a vacation cabin just off the lake (which is now a recreational hotspot in the Pacific Northwest), and my parents retired there several years ago. I spent all my childhood vacations at this house and someday will call it home myself. The lake has been a source of fun, beauty and tranquility to me my entire life, and to see some of the spectacular sights this past Christmas was amazing. I hope you find the photos as fascinating as I did!

This picture shows the water levels rising after the dam was completed, now all those trees which were starting to be underwater as well as surrounding the lake are underwater...WAY underwater!

(image source)

This is the lake at its usual levels. It’s
approximately 10 miles long and at least 2 miles wide at its’ widest.

(image source)

Images of the lake shore as it looks today (I took these pictures over the Christmas holiday).

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