The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
Article published Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Ottawa Hills to solicit bids for removal of village dam
Ottawa Hills Village Council has agreed to seek bids to tear down the
village's dam on the Ottawa River near Secor Road.
The dam has been there since 1928 but has little effect on the river's flow,
said Hans Gottgens, a specialist in aquatic ecology-in-the University of
He and others studied the possibility of any problems that could be caused
by the dam's removal after residents questioned the effect on the river's
flow and the potential for releasing hazardous material if the riverbed was
Councilman Jeffrey Gibbs said the study ruled out any potential problems. He
said the researchers found numerous yellow perch and other fish in the river
at the university campus, but only minnows and other small fish on the
village's side of the dam.
At an earlier public hearing, a representative of the Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency said no problems were encountered after a dam on the
Ottawa River in Camp Miakonda was removed about two years ago.
The dam's three gates are always open, so water flow is only slightly
impeded. At high-water, it rushes over the top of the dam.
Although it does little to stem the flow, fish don't migrate through the
gates or over the dam.
Its removal was first suggested in 2001 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to return the waterway to a natural flow. Village officials have
said the dam may not have been constructed to control the river, but to
create a pond.
Marc Thompson, village administrator, said he has seen photos used for
promotional purposes of people canoeing on the pond. He said it no longer
exists and likely was filled with sediment.
Mr. Thompson said he has had informal estimates of $20,000 to $25,000 to
remove the dam. Mr. Gottgens said grants are available that might pay for
some of the work.
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