Hughesville Mill Dam breaching begins this coming week

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Hughesville Mill Dam breaching begins this coming week

Postby Rusty Spinner on September 4th, 2016, 12:10 pm

Looks like as early as Tuesday and I'll be there to see what I and others started many years ago. On Thursday, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell and NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin will be on hand to see the work being performed. Our little corner of the world will have some minor celebrity status for a few days :)

I'll also be watching one of my competitors go about their work to see how they measure up. Given the amount of time they plan to be on site (14 weeks), my firm could remove 3 more dams and restore several miles of the river. So it will be fascinating to see what they have planned that will take so long to restore. While still working for TU and being an active member of the Lower Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership, I was vocally critical of the initial engineering plans to build 3 riffle structures to mitigate the elevation drop over a short distance as was NJ Division of F&W, NJ DEP Dam Safety, US Fish & Wildlife, and others, but in the end, the contractor wouldn't budge and was able to meet the legal requirements to removal. However, removing a dam for anadromous fish passage without providing fish habitat is always a big problem. Let's hope they prove me wrong! What is required is step pools, built like the proverbial brick $h*t house. But you need a lot of experience doing that, especially on a river the size of the lower Musky. To date, this project has stumbled out of the gates, so I pray it turns around soon and we get a good product in the end. The dredging was not at all what was anticipated, and that falls on the engineer's shoulders.
Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. Aldo Leopold
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Rusty Spinner
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