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Restoration of the Patapsco River Continues | Maryland DNR Fisheries Service News

Restoration of the Patapsco River Continues

10/13/2010  |   Posted by jthompson

Tags: Recreational, Trout, Patapsco River  

Restoration of the Patapsco River continues with the removal of the Simkins Industries Dam, set to begin in mid-October. Maryland Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, American Rivers, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Friends of the Patapsco Valley State Park in an effort to restore the free-flowing nature of the Patapsco.

Dams, like the Simkins Dam, block rivers, impeding a number of natural processes. Fish and other aquatic species arenít able to migrate upstream in search of food and better habitat. They also degrade water quality by decreasing oxygen levels and altering natural temperatures, both things that can lead to algae growth and further harm fish.

Removal of the Simkins Dam is the culmination of more than two years of scientific study and engineering design that was vetted through all of partners, as well as Maryland Department of the Environment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a number of local and national experts. This restoration project will allow fish access to new habitat and additional spawning ground, which has been shown to lead to healthier, more abundant fish stocks. Recreational users will also benefit from the elimination of this dangerous obstacle in the stream.

As the Patapsco restores itself and searches for equilibrium, you may notice changes. During the actual construction, the river downstream may appear cloudy. Sand and gravel will be moving downstream, which may result in temporarily higher banks along certain sections of the Avalon and Orange Grove areas. All of these are temporary changes as the river returns to pre-dam conditions.

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