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Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/19 13:48
From Akron, Ohio
Posts: 62
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So, my bro and i went fishing recently at our favorite NW PA Class A wild trout stream and discovered something a bit annoying that was not there on our last trip in the summer. As everyone here knows the water is a bit low in most PA streams right now.. a bit uncharacteristic for this time of year. anyways, we were happily fishing along and came upon what we consider the first really nice big deep hole always good for a few fish, even in low water conditions. As soon as we reach the tailout we noticed that some one has taken the liberty of creating about 1 foot high rock dam which is impeding the out flow of the pool. Now sure, it makes the pool a bit deeper but it also makes the water much slower and a bunch of scum builds up right behind the dam. After shaking our heads and moving on we find, throughout the course of the day, about 5 more such dams behind various large pools. i don't know what the people were thinking when they created them but i can see them as being quite a detriment to the stream. During the low water and heat of the summer creating all that slack water in those deep refuge pools could just act like a big solar heater... i would think that water needs to keep moving. i would also think that it could cause problems with fish migrating about in the stream to the seek refuge in the coldest of times and the hottest.

My question is... what should be done about it and is changing a Class A stream like this legal? After all, the property it runs across IS the landowners accordng to State laws. I would think that putting up dams like that could change the hydrology of the stream and not for the better. We also dont want to piss of the land owners and get the property posted by calling the WCO right away.

Your thoughts?

Posted on: 2008/11/3 12:44


Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
Posts: 3550
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Kick over the dam.

You could call teh WCO without give the stream name -- just like an inquiry.

Posted on: 2008/11/3 12:52
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Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/19 13:48
From Akron, Ohio
Posts: 62
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unfortunately it wouldnt be quite as easy as kicking one of them over. Whoever did it took their time. i would say it took someone several days to complete the five that we saw.

Posted on: 2008/11/3 13:00


Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 997
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I would think a well worded inquiry to the local WCO would not be harmfull. If it turns out to be a landowner doing it and the WCO agrees that it degrades the stream maybe he could educate the landowner in a positive way.

Kicking the dam over is a good way to get things off on the wrong foot. (Pun intended.) It is more likely to be interpreted as vandalism than a conservation effort and could quite likely lead to posting.

Posted on: 2008/11/3 13:02


Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/11 19:52
Posts: 95
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I see these a lot and wish people wouldn't do it for the reasons you already stated. But don't be too worried. When the next big rain comes, certainly by next spring, those dams will vanish.

The ones that really tick me off are the ones with plastic sheeting in between the rocks to help hold back the water. WHen they blow out in high wter the sheeting goes downstream, wraps around trees, roots and rocks, and makes a terrible mess.

Posted on: 2008/11/3 13:26


Re: Damned dams.....

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2006/11/2 8:50
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As you mentioned there is the possibility that the landowner would get mad and post the property, so I would just let it go.

It is illegal to build such structures without a permit. But if you call the WCO, the land may be posted.

A 1 foot high dam probably won't hurt the trout pop. much. There are much worse things happening to our streams. For example it is very common to see all the vegetation cut down along streams, right down to short, groomed grass, right along the streambanks. You see this on public parks, on DCNR lands, and on PFBC lands. That is much more harmful to streams than building a 1 foot high dam. But that's legal.

Posted on: 2008/11/4 7:52


Re: Damned dams.....

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2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
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Well,

I don't know what to say anymore. My son keeps asking me why I even type on this website despite knowing the little that I do. He says that he doesn't feel that anyone listens to anything they don't agree with. He says no one keeps up with stuff they start beause we can't even get a trout unlimited chapter active in Lackawanna river valley. Anyone in Ne Pa to prove him wrong. He is passionate about the trout and the stream. He is a teen but he needs a team to make a difference. He just thinks typing on a website is a waste of time.

Posted on: 2008/11/4 20:18


Re: Damned dams.....
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
Posts: 6825
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Wetnet,

This kind of schtick isn't for everyone. It provides community, commaraderie and civil disagreement between like-minded interests with different views. Your son has all that without the web. I mean with his FF youth team. Whats he need the internet for? He is in the game, we're on the bench.

If ya don't know what to say....don't say anything, when you do, open up. I know I go in and out of engagement here. So do alot of others. It sertainly is not an obligation.

As for the TU thingy....I don't know the area but if he thinks people are spending time on here when they could be spending their time on the Lacky, I think he's showing his age. Not a bad idea I'm sure and if it means that much to him, have him organize a meeting to get together all the stakeholders and voice his concern. Maybe he can strike an interest.

The best thing about a place like this is you don't have to have alot to say, know it all or even be experienced. You get what you pay for.

....you still have 15 minutes left, so tell me about your mother.

Posted on: 2008/11/4 22:48
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Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/10/2 10:08
From Westmoreland County (near fairgrounds)
Posts: 3702
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WetNet,

I enjoy your perspective on the issues we discuss here.

One of the things I get from this site is people who can appreciate the things I experience on the stream that other folks in my life don't really appreciate. My wife and son try to humor me, my daughter doesn't even try.

Posted on: 2008/11/4 23:28
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Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 5782
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Wetnet, The the closest TU chapter to you is probably the Stan Cooper Chapter.

-------------
http://www.sctu.org/

“the chapter meets at VFW Anthracite Post 283, 757 Wyoming Ave. in Kingston at 7:30pm the second Tuesday of the month September through May

November 11, 2008 Meeting

Program: Tyler Kaminski

"PATU Rivers and Youth Fly Fishing Conservation Camp"
-----------------------------------

There is also the Lackawanna River Corridor Association.

“The Lackawanna River Corridor Association (LRCA) was created by local citizens in 1987 to promote the restoration and conservation of the Lackawanna River and its watershed resources in the great Northeast Pennsylvania.”

http://www.lrca.org/

Posted on: 2008/11/5 7:59


Re: Damned dams.....
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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Those little dams are probably built by kids looking to make a little wading pool. I'd say the best way to deal with it is to hope to run into the parents. If you can strike up a conversation, maybe you can explain (politely) how the stream is impacted. Chances are, dad picked the spot for the fishing. So if he believes that the stream is impacted by the dams, you might change some minds.

Posted on: 2008/11/8 11:31
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Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13614
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I let my kids build little "pools" when I fish a particular creek. I'll catch a fish and if nearby I'll put it in their pool and they watch it the rest of the time while I fish. Before we leave they kill another hour or so dis-assembling their pool because I have explained to them why the creek needs to be "natural". They're cool with that and we both have fun...

Posted on: 2008/11/8 11:38


Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Wetnet, The the closest TU chapter to you is probably the Stan Cooper Chapter.

-------------
http://www.sctu.org/

“the chapter meets at VFW Anthracite Post 283, 757 Wyoming Ave. in Kingston at 7:30pm the second Tuesday of the month September through May

November 11, 2008 Meeting

Program: Tyler Kaminski

"PATU Rivers and Youth Fly Fishing Conservation Camp"
-----------------------------------

There is also the Lackawanna River Corridor Association.

“The Lackawanna River Corridor Association (LRCA) was created by local citizens in 1987 to promote the restoration and conservation of the Lackawanna River and its watershed resources in the great Northeast Pennsylvania.”

http://www.lrca.org/


Yes we are a member of the Stanley Cooper TU. Great group. They are way south while we drive way south to work only to drive way north to go home and then way south to go to any meetings. ( more than a hour each way) They are having one on the 11th that I'd like to make with my son about the youth camp. Tuesdays are his only days off from school but he works but he'll be done with work by the time I get home. Maybe he has the same frustration I do that it is just so hard to do anything outside of paying the bills anymore. When you feel a certain way about something you really care about it totally absorbs you and when you feel you can't act on it like you would if you would allow it be a full time obsession it makes you feel kind of weak. Like what's the point.

I'll just have to work on that attitude a bit. Anything good done even a little is better than nothing. Thanks!

Posted on: 2008/11/8 13:14


Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7207
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Wettnet, contact Brian Wagner the NE Vice President of TU, he's trying very hard to get the Lackawanna Chapter going again. You may find his email on the tu web site.

Posted on: 2008/11/10 22:22
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Re: Damned dams.....

Joined:
2008/3/20 22:15
Posts: 1789
Offline
Thanks. I'll see if I can find his number.

Posted on: 2008/11/11 19:39



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