OF ENLOE DAM
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.
"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
"Coyote" who lived in the Upper Similkameen. One day, after deciding he would like to take a wife, he left his territory, carrying his home on his back, and traveled down the Similkameen River. Wherever he saw an Indian family with daughters, he would stop and set up his home on the opposite side of the river, make himself presentable and then cross over the river and ask the father for the hand of one of his daughters.
He offered salmon in exchange for the daughter's hand in marriage but was rejected by the families and the daughters as they preferred venison, elk, or sheep instead of salmon for their food supply. Finally, upon reaching the junction with the Okanogan, Coyote found an Indian family who agreed to accept the salmon, and he settled there with his new wife. However, because he was so harshly rejected by the Similkameen Indians, he went back up the Similkameen and proceeded to build a very high falls, making it impossible for salmon to make their run up the Similkameen (LeMay 1979). *HISTORIC AMERICAN ENGINEERING RECORD
On November 19, 2018, Okanogan PUD unanimously passed a motion to no longer pursue electrification of Enloe Dam.
Lower Similkameen Indian Band passes resolutions to support the removal of Enloe Dam.
Okanogan Public Utility District (PUD) acquired the property.
Jan. 1, 1923
Enloe sold the property to Washington Water Power.
Construction of Enloe Dam began in 1919 and was nearing completion in the spring of 1920.
Eugene Enloe incorporated the Okanogan Valley Power Company (OVP) and purchased the Similkameen Power Company.
The wooden dam and powerhouse were finally completed in 1906 about a year after Hagerty's death.
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.
Okanogan PUD initiated the relicensing to produce electricity at Enloe Dam.
The PUD ceased operation of the power generators July 29, 1958. It has not generated power since.
Colville Confederated Tribes passes resolutions to support the removal of Enloe Dam.
On August 13, 2019 FERC issued an order terminating the Enloe Dam Hydropower License.
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.