Dworshak Dam Visitor Center


Some engineering projects are controversial, and the Dworshak Dam, built 1966-1973 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is one such example. The siting of the dam blocked a run of steelhead trout, and the reservoir covered an extensive area of wildlife habitat. To lessen the effects, the project includes the world's largest steelhead hatchery. Originally, the dam was to have six power-generating units, but peak loads would have led to flooding downstream and a second dam would have had to be built. So the final three generators were never installed.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil, Environmental
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The 717-foot-high Dworshak Dam is a straight-axis, concrete-gravity dam, meaning that it crosses the canyon in a straight line and uses a huge mass of concrete, as opposed to its geometric shape, to hold back the water's force. The tallest of its type in the Western Hemisphere, it is said to contain twice as much concrete as Cheope's Great Pyramid.
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