THE FISHMAN. I agree, the flows are low, particularly during the summer. We collected hickory shad and herring below Bloede dam last spring and herring below the dam this year. Anadromous fish ARE traversing the tidal portions of the river and trying to reach the upstream areas to spawn. I think the reason they are not using the ladder is because it's the largest/longest fish ladder in the State at over 160 feet long. The dam is over 150' wide and the ladder entrance is only 3' wide. Even when it's functioning properly, it's very difficult for fish to find it, yet alone successfully pass it. The ladder is continually getting clogged with debris, especially during the winters months and opening the ladder in the spring is very labor intensive.
I agree too, sewage spills are not good for the river, but I can't control that - I deal with fish passage issues. I have been to the Belle Grove ponds. As part of our sediment transport model, we surveyed the river from above Simkins dam all the way to the mouth of the Patapsco near the harbor. I can back up my claims of 95% sand/gravel and estimates of sediment quantity with over a dozen core samples, and ground penetrating radar. Yes, there is a light veneer of silt covering areas of sediment behind the dam, but it's mostly on the surface and settles out after rain events. We are not making this stuff up. I have pictures of the core samples if you would like to see them.
I'm not going to get into a shouting match on Tidalfish. Read the reports for yourself and produce scientific evidence if you feel that we are wrong.
Here is a video montage of the Simkins Dam removal just upstream.
Don't feel bad, Jim- it seems that hard science with actual data is out of favor these days. Ya gotta go with your gut!
Pat in Joppa
No need to shout. Here are some images. Anyone who wants to leave the porch can see for yourself. I would be glad to show them hard evidence. You have already impacted safe boating lanes downriver. Anyone with money can supply a fraudulant scientific analysys to support a decision already made in advance.
Did the same science support fish ladders??
AGAIN I supprt dam removal. Just remove the sediment first.
It's hard to have a good discussion when one party thinks the other party is funding fraudulent studies.
No doubt we are temporarily filling in some popular fishing holes but we knew this going into it. We've considered dredging before the removal of Bloede Dam, but as I'm sure you are aware - dredging and trucking out 70,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel can create it's own impact. (at about 5-10 cubic yards per truck - you're talking a LOT of trucks and time and wear/tear on local roads, disturbance to park guests, etc.). Not sure how familiar you are with dredging and dam removals, but the Army Corps tried dredging before removing the Embry Dam on the Rappahanock River. It took so long to dredge, that by the time they finished, it was mostly filled in again. Dredging is not always the best option and based on our studies (I assure you, they are not fraudulent) we think a passive approach is the best option - of course it's not final yet but our best science is pointing us in that direction.
Regarding the fish ladders - at the time we knew dam removal would be the best option for fish passage but unfortunately the engineers doing the study thought dam removal was too expensive. Dam removal has really caught on lately and science is showing our fears regarding sediment are not necessarily true. After all, the sediment behind the dam is already in the river, and would be below the dam if the dam wasn't there. It's artificially trapped, we're just sending it downstream where it would be anyway. Rivers are suppose to move sediment, it's part of healthy ecology since bugs need sediment. Too little because a dam is blocking it can sometimes be just as bad as too much. Again, I'm speaking mostly of sand and gravel. Fine silt is another matter.
I wasn't able to view any of your pictures, but if you watched the video I posted the link for, you can see a typical core sample. I'll let you know the next time I'm going to be in the area and you can give me the tour and show me what your talking about, or you can e-mail your pics/comments to email@example.com
I'm not going to respond to anymore comments regarding this issue on Tidalfish - it's just not the place for this sort of thing, that's what the Open House is for. My main goal was to correct some earlier assumptions and I believe I've done that. If you (or anyone else) has more questions/comments etc. the best course of action is to direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org feel free to post them here as well, but the e-mail account is what we are using to collect public input.
Not some holes but ALL the holes. Your NEW sediment figures conflict (less than half) with previuosly stated figures by both DNR and American Rivers .
No need for trucks there is a railroad next to the river.
Embry dam is much much larger than Bloede and White shad numbers have diminished since the Rappahannock removal as a mater of fact. Obviously removing sediment was deemed too expensive for the Bloede project too. The Rockhall dam on the Connestoga river was removed over 10 years ago and the holes have never returned near original depth.
Let's see some information on successful spawning after dams are removed. I think the data in this area is pretty thin. I've seen that section of the Patapsco and wondered how any fish could move through.
from what I've seen being on 895 my guess is that alot of the sediment would end up setteling in the river, in the section leading towards the Hospital area or just end up as part of the flat area just to the right of the Hospital. Now once they are all removed and we get a large storm we could see some sediment making its way into the Patapsco but I for one wouldn't worry too much for now.
SEA HUNT BX-22 CC
John, the river secion that parallels 895 was 7 to 9 feet only a few years ago and is now 4 to 5 feet with ever growing sand bars filling the lower lake and blocking entrance to the upper lake. The sediment behind Bloede (right now) is over 120 ft wide, 40 ft deep and runs almost a mile to Ilchester road. Its gonna go somewhere... downriver. It's like dumping 50lbs of crap in a 5lb. bag
Originally Posted by john pearce
This is an experiment at taxpayers expense and a blatant violation of the clean water act.
Scientific studies show shad numbers have declined because of pollution. Which includes sediment, excessive nurtients,bacteria, pcbs and chloride. Declines especially on the Rappahanock AFTER dam removal AND SUBSEQUENT STOCKING OF 40,291,252 SHAD!
Ok, last time. I really hate having "discussions" on a public forum, but I hate to see misinformation being spread about too. You're implying that there is a 40 wedge of sediment 120+ feet wide for over a mile. That's simply not true. Of course, you don't have access to coring devices and ground penetrating radar so I wouldn't expect you to know this. The Bloede Dam was built on a natural rock outcrop and the stream bed behind Bloede is steeper then the area behind Simkins. Think of this as a wedge. The dam is only 32 feet tall and the "wedge" of sediment is much shorter then 1 miles.
The amount of sediment being released by the Simkins Dam removal is NOT enough to create sandbars 3-4 feet deep down at 895 and the ponds. We saw volumes that deep immediately below the dam following removal, but those have since been washed out. Take a look at the attached DEM (Digital Elevation Model) which very accurately measures sediment in several key areas where sediment has been, and is being deposited. You'll see just over 63,000 CY of sediment left Simkins dam area and moved downstream. A third of that sediment is behind Bloede Dam, there is another 15,000 CY accounted for in DEM's 2 and 3. The remaining sediment is mostly between DEM 1 and DEM 3. That leaves about 30,000 CY of sediment unaccounted for. Do you have any idea how thin 30,000 CY of sediment is when spread out over that distance?! Sure, there are some areas where there is no sediment, and others where it's deeper - like slow moving pools, but it's not significant. A LARGE volume of sediment was washed into the system last fall when we had that 10 years storm event that is not from the Simkins dam. We can't perform a DEM over the entire river since it's very expensive but we selected these areas based on river grade where the sediment was most likely to drop out. Of course if you think all our studies are fraudulent, then this won't mean much to you - but the national experts we've hired to do this work will likely take great offense to your accusation.
THE FISHMAN, it sounds like you live in that area. I would like very much to have you stop by the Bloede Dam Open House at the Catonsville Library today or tomorrow. I'll be there from 2pm until 8pm today and from 9am to 4pm tomorrow. I'm the bald guy wearing shorts. Would like to discuss this with you face to face and hopefully show you that our science is sound. Please bring additional pictures and info with you, it could be very helpful.
OH, and regards to shad numbers in the Rappahannock. It is widely thought that numbers are low because of issues off-shore - by catch from other fisheries. We believe this is why A. shad numbers are low and hickory shad numbers are still doing good (they don't go offshore as far). I'm good friends with Alan Weaver, the biologist in Virginia doing that work and they have found fish well above the former dam.