Dam repair project and wildlife impact

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Kobayashi

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Mar 25, 2015
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Started work on a dam replacement project this week. The lake has been drained to almost nothing, and the remaining fish/turtles/snakes are confined to this small area. The water is churning with battles over the limited territory.
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War Paint

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I have not been to a pond seining in years. Man that shit is crazy fun. And the fish fry after was over kill.
 

Kobayashi

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Dang, when is it slated to get re-filled? That's a lot of loss of wildlife.
Certainly there's an effect, but it's not as bad as it might seem. Most of the fish move downstream with the water release. For those that remain, the flow of the stream is maintained so that the water is being replaced and not stagnant. I haven't seen any dead fish lying around. I don't know the full project timeline but my guess is 4-6 weeks.
 
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Kobayashi

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Dang, when is it slated to get re-filled? That's a lot of loss of wildlife.

I have not been to a pond seining in years. Man that shit is crazy fun. And the fish fry after was over kill.
The issue of small dams built to create lakes for subdivisions and farms are land mines that county governments are having to confront. Most were built when safety regulations were lax or nonexistent, and many represent a safety and financial issue for those living downstream. Neighborhood lakes raise the property value for owners, and people buy waterfront lots for the not only for the amenity but also for the increased property value. When a dam built in the 1960s is deemed unsafe the property owners downstream are often required to buy flood insurance. They would prefer the dam to be torn down. The property owners in the neighborhood don't want to lose their amenity or value, so they want the dam fixed. The problem is that the lake and dam is usually deeded to the landowners around the lake, making them responsible for the repair costs. With a dam repair costing several million $ they can't afford to rebuild it, so they want to push responsibility/cost to the county. What follows is an ugly circular battle. It's a large issue. Think of how many small lakes/dams you see in your local vicinity.
 
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War Paint

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Can you please elaborate on this one?
Ok down in south GA 1 to 10 acre ponds are every where. Front yard back yard at the farm every fricking where. Over time they get over crowded with unwanted fish. Carp, Shad Jack, Gar etc. So they will pump the water down to a low level 3 to 6 feet. You get a bunch of guys a bunch of beer a few kids. You take a long net that looks like a tennis net weights on the bottom and stretch it across the pond with a person every 4 or five feet and drag it from one end to the other. at the same time you and the kids are slaping the water with sticks hands or what ever to make the fish run away from you. They get to the end of the pond and have no where to go. Then some guys take nets and throw the fish up on the bank the fish are sorted and thrown into trash cans trash fish loose some of the cats bass brim get to go back in the pond. there is always huge mess of fish kept to have a fish fry. Some times the fish fry is that night or the next day. The turtles get split with a ax and disassembled for stew. The snakes just have a bad day. Its a lot of fun and the food is out of this world. Thanks for the memories.
 
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Hoss

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Ok down in south GA 1 to 10 acre ponds are every where. Front yard back yard at the farm every fricking where. Over time they get over crowded with unwanted fish. Carp, Shad Jack, Gar etc. So they will pump the water down to a low level 3 to 6 feet. You get a bunch of guys a bunch of beer a few kids. You take a long net that looks like a tennis net weights on the bottom and stretch it across the pond with a person every 4 or five feet and drag it from one end to the other. at the same time you and the kids are slaping the water with sticks hands or what ever to make the fish run away from you. They get to the end of the pond and have no where to go. Then some guys take nets and throw the fish up on the bank the fish are sorted and thrown into trash cans trash fish loose some of the cats bass brim get to go back in the pond. there is always huge mess of fish kept to have a fish fry. Some times the fish fry is that night or the next day. The turtles get split with a ax and disassembled for stew. The snakes just have a bad day. Its a lot of fun and the food is out of this world. Thanks for the memories.
OK, so now I want to build a pond just so I can drain it and do this. Thanks
 

cbh13

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The issue of small dams built to create lakes for subdivisions and farms are land mines that county governments are having to confront. Most were built when safety regulations were lax or nonexistent, and many represent a safety and financial issue for those living downstream. Neighborhood lakes raise the property value for owners, and people buy waterfront lots for the not only for the amenity but also for the increased property value. When a dam built in the 1960s is deemed unsafe the property owners downstream are often required to buy flood insurance. They would prefer the dam to be torn down. The property owners in the neighborhood don't want to lose their amenity or value, so they want the dam fixed. The problem is that the lake and dam is usually deeded to the landowners around the lake, making them responsible for the repair costs. With a dam repair costing several million $ they can't afford to rebuild it, so they want to push responsibility/cost to the county. What follows is an ugly circular battle. It's a large issue. Think of how many small lakes/dams you see in your local vicinity.

yup saw this a lot when I was doing lake management. lots of neighborhoods are being hit with huge bills and so the puck just keeps getting passed. with the water level dropping like that though you are actually at a prime time to make it a good fishing lake. if you can get a good idea of whats still there you can get an idea of which speicies you may want to remove now while its easy or see what your ratios look like. when you refill it stock it heavy with grass carp and blue gill and then bass later on in the season and you can make it an excellent fishing lake.
 

Kobayashi

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yup saw this a lot when I was doing lake management. lots of neighborhoods are being hit with huge bills and so the puck just keeps getting passed. with the water level dropping like that though you are actually at a prime time to make it a good fishing lake. if you can get a good idea of whats still there you can get an idea of which speicies you may want to remove now while its easy or see what your ratios look like. when you refill it stock it heavy with grass carp and blue gill and then bass later on in the season and you can make it an excellent fishing lake.
I agree that it's a good time to analyze and augment the fish population. unfortunately I'm an outsider on this one, just handling a small portion of the the work needed to complete the project, so I won't be involved in those decisions. I'll be there later today and will try to get some more pics.
 

Kobayashi

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The contractor is currently constructing a temporary road around the dam and through existing lake bed, and today they will be crossing the remaining pond, killing most of the remaining fish. Most of the fish I've seen are carp, but Saturday someone caught a 9# bass. Here's what it looks like this morning.

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Hoss

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Dang, looks like it's hopping with activity now. Good bow fishing practice.