Dam across creek

KerryS

Ignored Member
#16
Instead of seating here complaining about it. Why didn't you do something about? If you cared that much you would tear it down. I wouldn't be seating down at my computer I'd be tearing it down.
It was on private property and in an area that people tend to protect their property with guns. I choose not to break the law by trespassing and take a chance on a confrontation. So, I reported it to the agencies that I believe are responsible for enforcement of such matters. My post here was not complaining it was questioning the board if they knew of any additional agencies I could report it. You really should do something to improve reading comprehension skills.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#17
It was on private property and in an area that people tend to protect their property with guns. I choose not to break the law by trespassing and take a chance on a confrontation. So, I reported it to the agencies that I believe are responsible for enforcement of such matters. My post here was not complaining it was questioning the board if they knew of any additional agencies I could report it. You really should do something to improve reading comprehension skills.
I sure hope they can get around to investigating the blockage
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#18
If the creek was small enough to create a rock dam and is used for spawning; I would venture to guess that the fish wait it out, in the larger stream connected to it, for the first major rain before ascending and spawning.

If nothing else, it may have added some cooler positive water for the youngins (no, not kids) that hang there, till flushing out to sea.
 

Smalma

Active Member
#20
Kerry -
Well done!

I would also think about contacting the local tribs. Maybe you and WW could contact the Upper Skagit and continue the development of a relationship between OS and the tribes.

I'm with Kerry with taking the dam out himself. It is common this time of year to find such "structures" and yes they are typically build by kids though I have found groups working their dams that were decades removed from being teenagers. Those folks can be quite protective of their efforts and may not care much about the fish resource or understand the potential damage such structures might cause. Education can pay off at times and other times not so much.

FinLuver -
Those structures can be pretty harmful to our fish populations. While it is true that they will wash out with the fall rains there are situations where that is too late for fish migrating to their spawning grounds. An example would be bull trout. They currently are migrating to their spawning grounds and during dry falls will often begin spawning before the dams would wash out. A couple years on the South Fork Sauk I would find such structures during pre-spawning and spawning bull trout surveys. Would find adult fish holding below them. I would open a passage way (on USFS) and within a day or two the fish would make their way upstream. However over the weekend the structure would be "repaired". One year that process was repeated weekly for nearly a month and the full spawning season. That structure was blocking access to a major spawning area (that year nearly 200 adults spawned upstream of that dam).

Depending on the site dam and the "pond" behind it can be harmful to the juvenile fish as well. The increased area of standing water can lead to increases in temperature as well as potentially increase inter-gravel flows resulting in lower downstream flows. While that is not always the case when either happens it impacts production of such critters as juvenile steelhead, coho, cutthroat and bull trout.

Bottom line the solution to these kinds of problems include education of both those doing the work and those living in the area. In that regard a news release from the agencies on this reoccurring problems (it crops up every time we have stretch of hot weather this time of year) can be helpful. In this case if such a release were to come out a note and maybe a picture of Kerry's discovery to the local Skagit valley paper could be effective.

Curt
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#21
Kerry, the dam is indeed illegal. I'd contact these guys:

http://www.washingtonwatertrust.org/our-board-directors


Washington Water Trust is a neutral, nonregulatory, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving and protecting stream flows and water quality throughout Washington state. We use voluntary, market-based transactions and cooperative partnerships to create balanced solutions. So fish, agriculture, business and wildlife—upon which we all depend--can thrive.


We lease and buy water from water rights holder, temporarily or permanently to leave instream, to improve and protect flows, especially during periods that are critical to the survival of imperiled salmon and steelhead. At the right time, at the right place, even just a small amount of water left instream can have an immensely positive impact.
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#22
Kerry -
Well done!

I would also think about contacting the local tribs. Maybe you and WW could contact the Upper Skagit and continue the development of a relationship between OS and the tribes.

I'm with Kerry with taking the dam out himself. It is common this time of year to find such "structures" and yes they are typically build by kids though I have found groups working their dams that were decades removed from being teenagers. Those folks can be quite protective of their efforts and may not care much about the fish resource or understand the potential damage such structures might cause. Education can pay off at times and other times not so much.

FinLuver -
Those structures can be pretty harmful to our fish populations. While it is true that they will wash out with the fall rains there are situations where that is too late for fish migrating to their spawning grounds. An example would be bull trout. They currently are migrating to their spawning grounds and during dry falls will often begin spawning before the dams would wash out. A couple years on the South Fork Sauk I would find such structures during pre-spawning and spawning bull trout surveys. Would find adult fish holding below them. I would open a passage way (on USFS) and within a day or two the fish would make their way upstream. However over the weekend the structure would be "repaired". One year that process was repeated weekly for nearly a month and the full spawning season. That structure was blocking access to a major spawning area (that year nearly 200 adults spawned upstream of that dam).

Depending on the site dam and the "pond" behind it can be harmful to the juvenile fish as well. The increased area of standing water can lead to increases in temperature as well as potentially increase inter-gravel flows resulting in lower downstream flows. While that is not always the case when either happens it impacts production of such critters as juvenile steelhead, coho, cutthroat and bull trout.

Bottom line the solution to these kinds of problems include education of both those doing the work and those living in the area. In that regard a news release from the agencies on this reoccurring problems (it crops up every time we have stretch of hot weather this time of year) can be helpful. In this case if such a release were to come out a note and maybe a picture of Kerry's discovery to the local Skagit valley paper could be effective.

Curt
Curt

Good point.

When I posted, your thoughts had been in my mind as well; and my post was to a body of water I'm "familiar' with...the situation is indeed very "site specific".

In dry years, that "extra" water in certain circumstances, behind the rock dam, can be a life saver....similar to fish conserving agencies putting logs in the stream beds, to create pools for rearing juvenile fish; I have seen it actually decrease the water temperature, provide cover for fish, etc...provided there is also good riparian tree coverage as well.

BTW...The creative engineering structures, in my world, always had spill channels built in. ;-)
 

10incher

Active Member
#23
In the Bay Area, Ca. they're becoming aware that bows of steelhead lineage are living in the upper drainages of many badly impounded streams. So lately it's easy to get authorities to act when an unauthorized barrier is reported.

I fished the Guadalupe creek (avatar) in San Jose. Much of the creek ran through private property. Stream access laws allow wading within the high water mark. It did seem to upset a lot of property owners as I waded through their back yards ;) Of course, this is in the Bay Area, Ca. So you never get a gun pointed at you. You just get screechy, blow hard yuppies that think their money should entitle them isolation from dirtbag fishermen. I admit to enjoying these confrontations. Educating these individuals on the laws. Invariably though they thought I was wrong and continued to screech and whine ineffectually until I finished fishing the pool and moved on. But to get back on topic...

It was obvious that these property owners also thought they owned the stream. I reported any unauthorized retaining walls, dams, docks, bridges and decks that looked like they could even remotely impede fish passage. And they all disappeared almost immediately.

San Jose has only recently started giving a crap about the fish. Here in the PNW, where it's a much bigger part of the general awareness and culture I think that reporting it to WDFW will get it done.

If things seem slow to happen contact this guy: Sergeant Kim Chandler (425) 775-1311 ext.122
He's an agent of the WDFW that headed up a project about ten years ago focused on removal of homemade dams and structures from streams. It'll matter to him I'm sure. And THAT will get it done.
 

scottr

Active Member
#25
It was on private property and in an area that people tend to protect their property with guns. I choose not to break the law by trespassing and take a chance on a confrontation. So, I reported it to the agencies that I believe are responsible for enforcement of such matters. My post here was not complaining it was questioning the board if they knew of any additional agencies I could report it. You really should do something to improve reading comprehension skills.
Navigable rivers and creeks aren't private. If you can float it then it is public between the high water marks.

Regardless, if it has anadromous fish in it then local, state, federal, and tribal agencies will get involved when fish passage is being blocked.

I'd report it to the local sheriff, WDFW, and NMFS.