BEFORE: Nelson Dam as of 3-16-20
AFTER: Nelson Dam removal as of 4-19-23

Nelson Project Phase 1 progress in photos – Sept. 2021 through May 2023

September 2021
May 2023

Videos showing work on Phase 1 of the Nelson Project are available here.

Nelson Project Phase 1 Fact Sheet

Work on the Nelson Dam removal and replacement project began in August 2021. The project improves fish passage and sediment continuity to improve habitat, increase flow conveyance to decrease flooding risks for nearby landowners, and improve water supply reliability.

The Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife detailed how fish were saved even as water levels were lowered to allow workers to carry out the project.

The project was among those featured in a 2022-year-in-review publication by the Bureau of Reclamation. A copy is available at Yakima Basin Integrated Plan 2022 Highlights (

Phase 1 of the Nelson project was completed in May 2023.

For more about the project, contact Interim Water/Irrigation Manager Mike Shane at 509-576-6480 or by email at