Two NC Dam Removals, Two Days

American Rivers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) worked together to remove two dams in just two days this week in Montgomery County, North Carolina. The projects will benefit a number of rare, high priority fish and mussel species by restoring river habitat and allowing fish to move over 175 miles upstream. See videos of these river restoration projects below. See photo album on American Rivers’ Facebook.

The first dam, a privately owned structure on the Little River, was removed Monday (Sept 10). The second, Troy #2 Dam on Denson’s Creek owned by the Town of Troy, was removed Tuesday. The Town wanted to remove Troy #2 Dam – which had long since stopped serving its original purpose of providing water supply – to help improve the health of the creek. The creek is Nationally Significant Aquatic Habitat, and home to several important mussels, including one that is endemic to the area (meaning it lives nowhere else in the world). Troy has worked hard for years to protect the creek through land conservation.

These projects were the first of their kind in this region in that they were funded, designed and constructed entirely in house by the USFWS, which allowed for significant cost savings – in fact, they were completed for a fraction of the regular cost. Funding came from the USFWS’ Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Laura Fogo) and Fish Passage Program (Tripp Boltin). Staff from their Asheville office (Mark Cantrell) and Raleigh office (Laura Fogo), with help from American Rivers and other partners, worked together on planning, design and permitting. USFWS staff from the North Mississippi Refuge (Hal Jones) and Private John Allen National Fish Hatchery in MS (Ricky Campbell) did an incredible, professional job operating the excavators to remove both dams.

American Rivers is excited about this partnership and looks forward to partnering with USFWS again to remove outdated dams.