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Troutfisher

Need Some Help - Lake & Lake Dam Restoration

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Alright guys, I think you may have heard this story before, but I wanted to give an updated version of this and ask for some help.

I currently fish an area called Lake Washington. This was once a thriving lake which boasted a great warmwater fishery, as well as outstanding scenery. About 7-8 years ago, a 5 foot section of the dam had to be removed due to possible collapse and damage to the dam, causing the lake level to drastically drop. The city of Hurricane (where the lake is located) was faced with a decision to repair the dam, or to not fix it and let the vast bulk of it dry up. They did the latter, and now, what was once a beautiful lake is now just a small backwater area.

I have been studying this matter, and I am interested in trying to restore this lake back to what it once was. I was going to get your opinion on this. Would it cost a lot of money to restore? I know that many areas where the lake once was are now dried up and there are small trees and brush growing on it, so of course that would need to be dug out. I think the dam would need repair as well, and the 5 foot section added back on. I have pictures that I took while I recently went out there the other day.

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A section of the lake. As mentioned, this used to be much larger.

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Above the dam. There was once a wooden section that went all the way across.

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Me showing a comparison of how big the dam is.

What do you guys think? Is this a cause worth going after, or is it just a waste of time? I have been in full cooperation with the owner of the dam and the lake area, and he has encouraged me by saying he would do whatever he could to help restore the lake, whether it be opening it up to the public, or whatever. I think a key problem would be getting the funding. I would have to work with the city on that.

Thanks for your advice,

TF

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I would address the city, county, state, & federal officials; then go after help from local papers, sporting groups, sporting goods stores.

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Yeah, you are going to need to get permits/permission from local officials and landowners.  You will need some support from the locals as well.  Good luck and be sure you double check all the laws.  The last thing you want to do is get into trouble.

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The lake must be city owned if they opted to alter the dam. The only option you have is contact the a state department to determine who has juristiction over public waterways; the city or state. If the dam was condemed by the state as unsafe, then you don't have a prayer to restore it. Dams are not a high priority today, with the trout folks, unless you can get public support to restore it. Good luck, you are fighting an uphill battle.

WRB

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Well, at one time, it was owned by Hurricane, however, after the section of the dam had been removed, it was sold to the man who has it now.  He bought it because he didn't want to see all of the lake removed.

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Now that it's in private ownership I'm afraid there's not much you can do.  

The fact the dam had to be partially dismantled is an indication that it was in bad enough condition that replacement may have only been a feasible option.  Public funds are in such short supply that a dam is a very low priority unless it's threatening life and limb downstream and in this case, it probably was which is why the thing was partially torn down to begin with.

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Dams are very, very expensive because of the public safety issues! I work for a local government and we have a problem with a local dam. It cost over $500,000 just for the engineers to tell us what had to be done. Its going to cost another $1,000,000 to fix it. That is probably why your dam was not fixed in the first place. If you get involved, just know that you are fighting an uphill and very expensive battle.

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Wanted to post some recent information:  I've spoke with the local State Senator for Putnam County and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito about the project, and they both have directed me in right direction.  What I'm going to need to do from here is to get in touch with the local Corp. of Engineer's office and the DEP and find out what regulations are in place, and how much money I need to gather.

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Dams are very, very expensive because of the public safety issues! I work for a local government and we have a problem with a local dam. It cost over $500,000 just for the engineers to tell us what had to be done. Its going to cost another $1,000,000 to fix it. That is probably why your dam was not fixed in the first place. If you get involved, just know that you are fighting an uphill and very expensive battle.

Same situation with a small community here, they have had a puddle for the last 3 yrs.  When you pull into the rd that accesses the lake area, there is a "thermometer" type gauge that shows the goal and how much $ they have raised.  They now have the $$ and I believe they start construction next spring.  I believe it is 350k they are raising.  

Their dam is in no way as bad as yours, unfortunately, theirs only required a small portion to be repaired but it was a critical area, the outflow.  That was 350k,just an example.

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Well, the thing is, the dam isn't big at all, and the only real costs will be digging out some of the area that has regrowth of trees and brush, and replacing the length section of the dam.  The core structure of the dam is fine.

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Well, the thing is, the dam isn't big at all, and the only real costs will be digging out some of the area that has regrowth of trees and brush, and replacing the length section of the dam.  The core structure of the dam is fine.

Not busting your chops but is this from an engineers report or your opinion?  

What ya really need to do is just find a couple Beavers ;)

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My opinion, I haven't hired an engineer to inspect it yet, plan on doing that this month.

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OK, you do realize they will cost at least a few grand if not a lot more,yes?

I would start by finding out the exact reason it wasn't repaired by the state/city.  Go to city hall, there may be an engineers report on file already.

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I am willing to do whatever it takes to have this dam restored, if that means raising money through fundraisers, door to door, etc.  

I feel like a politician.  ;D

I do plan on looking at what you said, LBH, at the potential report the city might have.

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I haven't a clue what you should do with contacting city folk, but as a future engineer, I want to get a better mental picture of the dam.  Not necessarily to help you, as I am not qualified to do that, but just out of curiosity.  

In your second picture, I see the top of the dam, holding back water.  Where is the 5 foot cut?  I see what looks to be a wall, with a cut in it, in front of the dam holding the water back.  But, I am not exactly seeing how that held an extra 5 feet of water.  Do you mind giving me a couple reference points as to what I am looking at?  I am not seeming to piece together where each picture is, in relation to the rest.

Thanks.

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