Text / Smethport dam removal and habitat restoration

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Smethport dam removal and habitat restoration
Sara Strassman
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC Riverside, Library, Water Resources Collections and Archives
Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information (CDRI)
Rights Information
Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Scope/Content: Abstract: The original Smethport Reservoir dam was built in 1881, but underwent major repairs in 1914, when an additional dam was installed in the top of the reservoir as a check dam. The dams were built of stone and were used as water supply. The 20-foot tall, 375-foot long lower dam is considered a high hazard structure, meaning that a dam failure could result in loss of life and significant downstream property damage. The owner of this dam would have needed to repair and maintain the dam and create an Emergency Action Plan for the event of a catastrophic breach in order to keep the dam under PA Department of Environmental Protection's dam safety standards. Instead, the owner chose to remove the structures and restore fish passage and habitat on this high-quality, coldwater fishery that sustains wild brook trout production. These two dams are the only man-made barriers on Blacksmith Run. The project offers significant restoration potential and removal of a liability and public safety hazard. American Rivers and the PA Fish and Boat Commission are working together to coordinate the removal of this dam. The details in this report are subject to change.
Scope/Content: Author affiliation: American Rivers
Ecology and river restoration
Safety and liability
Dam retirement
Blacksmith Run, PA
Smethport Reservoir Dam

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