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Boardman River Dam Update: 11/1

Next Thursday, November 8th, at 6:00 pm (Civic Center) the Boardman River Dams Project Implementation Team is holding an informational meeting regarding the dam removal project and the October 6 incident at Brown Bridge Dam.  The meeting will include a project update, information on issues related to the Brown Bridge Dam incident, and an opportunity for the public to ask questions.

Over the past couple weeks since the last update Molon has continued to work in the upper end of the project area cleaning out sand traps, excavating the floodplain, and shaping spoil areas according to the original work plan.  At the dam, AMEC and Molon received work plan approval from the MDEQ to divert the river flow into the Temporary Dewatering Structure (TDS) and continue demolition of the remaining lower concrete structure of the dam.  This work began this week and is expected take approximately two weeks to complete.

Biologists from the MDNR, Grand Traverse Band, and Conservation District, along with Adams Chapter of Trout Unlimited volunteers, conducted a “Presence/Absence” fish survey in the river at two locations below Brown Bridge dam where the MDNR had previous population data.  A population survey wasn’t possible at this time because of the turbid (cloudy) water.   The first survey took place approximately 150’ downstream of Brown Bridge Road in an area that received the brunt of the breech.  Seventy five fish representing 13 different species were captured and released in a 500 foot stretch.  This included 12 brown trout and one brook trout.    The second survey took place downstream at Beitner Landing just upstream from Beitner Road.  Biologists surveyed a 250 foot section along the east bank where they captured and released 28 fish in less than 15 minutes of surveying.   Of these 26 were trout including a 20” brown trout in full spawning color.

Harriet Gruber, who has a cabin in the impacted area, reported seeing a fish jump in front of her cabin last weekend.  David McCool also reported seeing three brook trout “redds.”  Redds are nests of spawning trout.

Project staff continues to collect weekly cross-section and other data including turbidity readings using a Secci Disc, a tool commonly used to measure the clarity of lake water, which is this case has been modified for river monitoring.

As always please let me know if you have any questions.

– Steve Largent, Boardman River Program Coordinator

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