THE HISTORY
OF ENLOE DAM

Restore Similkameen Presentation - May-u

  From its headwaters in British Columbia’s Manning Provincial Park, the Similkameen River flows 122 miles to its confluence with the Okanogan River near Oroville, Washington. Significant tributaries to the Similkameen include Canada’s Tulameen, Pasayten and Ashnola Rivers, which originate in Washington state’s Pasayten Wilderness. The Similkameen River watershed encompasses over 3,579 square miles.

In addition to scenic beauty, the Similkameen provides important water resources, critical habitat, and extensive recreational opportunities in both the U.S. and Canada. It also is of deep cultural significance to the tribes of the watershed. 

HISTORICAL TiMELINE

pre-dam era

"Rock Wall" was the Indian name for the Squantl (Similkameen) Falls. The name Squantl Falls was recorded for the first time by Smith & Calkins in their U.S. Geological Survey Report entitled "A Geological Reconnaissance Across the Cascade Range (1904)." The local name for the falls before the building of the dams was Similkameen Falls.

 

Being about 33 feet high and fairly perpendicular, the falls created a barrier beyond which anadromous fish appear never to have migrated. Susan Cohen (LeMay 1979), an Indian woman, states that "there has never been any salmon in the Similkameen north of the Rock Wall."

 

Cohen explained that her ancestors would gather at the base of the Rock Wall to catch the salmon as they made their annual run up the Okanogan River and into the lower part of the Similkameen, but only to the base of the falls. Indian legend has it that animals built the Rock Wall so as to trap the fish, thereby providing the wild animals with a source of food. *HISTORIC AMERICAN ENGINEERING RECORD

2018

On November 19, 2018, Okanogan PUD unanimously passed a motion to no longer pursue electrification of Enloe Dam.

2015

Lower Similkameen Indian Band passes resolutions to support the removal of Enloe Dam.

1942

Okanogan Public Utility District (PUD) acquired the property.

1923

Jan. 1, 1923

Enloe sold the property to Washington Water Power.

1919

Construction of Enloe Dam began in 1919 and was nearing completion in the spring of 1920.

1916

Eugene Enloe incorporated the Okanogan Valley Power Company (OVP) and purchased the Similkameen Power Company.

1906

The wooden dam and powerhouse were finally completed in 1906 about a year after Hagerty's death.

1902

J.M. Hagerty organized the Similkameen Power Company in 1902. Hagerty secured the water and land rights on the Similkameen River approx. 3.5 miles above Oroville at Similkameen Falls.

 

The next three years he spent

developing the site.

2008

Okanogan PUD initiated the relicensing to produce electricity at Enloe Dam.

1958

The PUD ceased operation of the power generators July 29, 1958. It has not generated power since.

2017

Colville Confederated Tribes passes resolutions to support the removal of Enloe Dam.

2019

On August 13, 2019 FERC issued an order terminating the Enloe Dam Hydropower License.

2021

Upper Similkameen Indian Band passes a resolution to support the removal of Enloe Dam.

 

Okanogan PUD begins dewatering the Enloe Dam as a part of in-depth safety inspections.

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