Re: NANFA-- River Use Issues in GA/AL/FL- long winded

R. W. Wolff (
Fri, 15 Dec 2000 23:50:06 -0600

> I'm wondering whether that small stream would be able to cut a channel in
> the ground suitable for fishes and such. And if it did, wouldn't the
> eventally effectively leave the dam high and dry (path of least resistance
> and all that)?

Interesting Idea. I think that it would really depend on elevations of
surrounding topography. If there was enough bottom land, and the stream was
built to cover several dozen miles, with marsh habitat, it might just work.
Here in the marsh we have similar situations that work All the dams have a
head of 8 feet more or less, so they may not represent what the norm is.
But, the surrounding marsh land, ditches, creeks etc. interconnect. Fish
have to work harder to get around dams/ bulkheads , but it can be done.
This also brings up another problem, do the species in this water way only
use high current areas to move, or do they inhabit different water types?
Since fast current species like banded darters, stone cats, and horny head
chubs don't inhabit the marsh proper, its hard to determine whether they
would make it through the net work up stream. Species that don't much care
what the water flow rates, like iowa darters, tadpole madtoms,and pearl
dace , have little problems spreading. Of course, the area I am talking
about usually becomes one big lake covering 4000 plus square miles ( roughly
I think) during a flood, and during drought, the system has many breaks in
it and shrinks considerably. All in all though a winding stream would make
up for canalization that takes place in dam areas. I also see no problem in
replacing what has been taken away by man made structures ( dams) with man
made structures ( these stream arounds). The only problem is finding enough
suitable land to use for such a project. Here in the marsh, the land is
nearly unusable for most things, so its mostly devoid of development. The
habitat around dams has been altered , and likely even returning to close to
historical parameters would be difficult. Also, regarding the path of least
resistance. These " stream arounds" would have to be maintained just as
dams are ( should be anyways) . I am sure groups like Trout Unlimited ( who
have awesome methods for re-taking streams) , NANFA, etc would volunteer for
a chance to work at this. The Nature Conservancy might even be interested,
since these areas would be high in wildlife once completed. Hunting and
fishing groups of all kinds I also see would have a stake in making these
work. Money talks, and the people most likely to directly benefit from
these projects would be outdoorsmen ( people for you PC types) . I also
think the "stream arounds" if they did work, would help greatly with
flooding problems.

Ray - pointed out to be conservative to the core- Wolff

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