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Wiskers

I guess it has it good points and bad points.. For one thing I know it destroid the wintering hole for cats and Eyes in Grand Forks where they filled in with rocks.. that hole was 20 some feet deep and kept fish all fall and winter and even summer.. But now it is lacking in fish real bad.. The hole is filled in and the deepest it gets now is only about 10-12 feet. But it will for sure allow the fish to migrate up and down the river, that is if the rivers get back up to normal levels....??? Lets hope.

------------------
Wiskers Guiding Service
Red River & Minnesota River,for Channel Cats, Flatheads & Walleyes
Crookston, MN
[email protected]

218-280-0442

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Guest

A good article, thanks for pointing it out Dark30.

I am a big fan of the project. We have already seen many areas with booming SM Bass populations because of it. The walleye and pike appear to using the reconstructed structures even more now for their reproduction needs. In about 20 years or so we will see if the will sturgeon cooperate too.

Next to removing all the dams completely, I think this was the best overall working plan for the Red. Since 1812 when the Lockport Dam went up fish migration patterns have been drastically altered. The subsequent dams on the upper Red sealed the fate of the sturgeon in the upper Red River basin. In time with the reintroduction program, now more then 8 years into the program, we should again see surgies roam the whole Red River and hopefully reproduce.

One of the hidden and most significant benefits of this rehabilitation project is changing the publics overall perception of the Red River.

Often in the past thought of as a dirty, unsafe, and contaminated river by the public. Now it is seeing a far wider range of use from a more diverse population of enthusiasts. As perceptions change so does the perceived value of the Rivers, it instills stewardship. People use it more and quickly come to love it even more.

It has met with mixed reviews from anglers who are not pleased to see their old fishing hole change. Yet this often changes in time as they adapt to the new opportunities it offers an angler. The North Dam in Fargo was reconstructed last winter. During lulls in construction I managed to catch Walleye up to 32". So the fish adapt far faster then us anglers do. We need to remember that, river fish live to adapt.

FYI- The South Dam is being rehabilitated at this time. Construction began very recently and should be finished within weeks. This will finish the reconstruction in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Two more remain to be reconstructed or demolished. The Hickson Dam and the Christean Dam. I am unaware if they are slated for rehabilitation this season or not. I think not, maybe next year?

------------------
BACKWATER GUIDING
701-281-2300
[email protected]
><,sUMo,>

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Scoot

Ed,

I spoke to a fella at River Keepers (forget his name) and he was a wealth of information regarding the reconstruction process with the dams. He said that the South dam would be dealt with this fall, as you pointed out. He also said that Christine and Hickson dams have been talked about, but nothing is scheduled for either one. He also had an interesting perspective on the dam at Drayton- he claimed it was the most lethal of all the dams up and down the Red, having been associated with more than twice as many deaths as any other dam on the river. His hope was that Crystal Sugar might be willing and interested in kicking in some money to see the project get underway.

I can back your statements about the fish adapting more quickly than I did. I managed my biggest walleye to date on a crank immediately below a reconstructed dam.

On another note, I backed my boat down into the Red last night to run some Stabill into the motors- had to break through about 2.5" of ice still. Open water in the channel, but quite a bit of ice on the side where the landing was- I was surprised.
Scoot

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Guest

That must have been Bob Backman, the big cheese at River Keepers? He and Christine Holland keep that operation afloat. Both really great folks. I have worked several fishing clinics for them and the Scouts here in the FM area.

The Drayton dam has a record of being a killer dam. The worst by far on the upper Red River. That reflect angler use too, a high use area offers greater risks with a low head dam near.

They have other geologic concerns there too, location and general construction of the dam. Lots of talk on what may be the final answer to that dams overall needs. I suspect after many hours of hydrological simulations they will develop a flow plan that will serve everyones needs. They have a bunch of agencies to worry about plus the cities involved. Hard to please everyone but they do coordinate it very well to be sure all the needs are met.

Ever dam has many hours of hydrological computer simulations and flow data behind the final construction blueprints. The angle of flow, velocity, where each of the pools will be set. All are carefully staged like a big jig-saw puzzle. I have a copy of blueprint of the North Dam Project in Fargo and not much is different from the current day configuration.

I have to pop in and see what the South Dam project is looking like. I hoped they would pull the center pilings out and wing the sides in waves with rock. This would allow for boat traffic to run from above Mid-Town Dam to all the way out to Hickson Dam. That would greatly add to the appeal of the Lindenwood Park as a camp site for fisherman and canoeist. The City of Moorhead was against any removal of the steel pilings so I am not sure it that will happen or not? I do not thing they will need to ramp the rock far on that dam, a good base is already in place. I think it will be more staging and pools added to allow for travel of fish upstream? Bury some of that old concrete crap and rebar, that will not hurt my feeling any at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Not likely going to see me on the ice on the Red for a long time yet. Nothing is safe on the Sheyenne either, or the Wild Rice. Very Dangerous stuff!

I did see a boat out on the Mid Town section yesterday. That got me a bit itchy. wink.gif

------------------
BACKWATER GUIDING
701-281-2300
[email protected]
><,sUMo,>

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Jim W

Hey Kev, rock hounds must think alike eh? I was just going to see if anyone noticed the Volunteers article on the Red!

INteresting.

Jim W

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fiskyknut

Yep that Drayton dam has seen alot of tradgedies over the years. I think the design of it is/was the biggest factor. Areas to the south that see higher use than Drayton, and once had lowheads did not have close to the death rate this killer does. Those steeply angled sides get so slippery, and even with it posted in the regs as unlawful, and a big red sign stating this and standing right there, people are still dumb enough to step out onto it. I have seen the Warden give dozens of tickets over the years for folks being on there. I have seen folks slip in too, fortunatly they managed to grab hold of the sheep netting strategically placed along the bottom of these angled sides, and were luckily not sucked into the hydraulic. I have also seen a few knuckleheads almost lose their boats and potentially their lives as well when they misjudge the force/speed of current flowing back toward the dam at the edge of the first big eddie on the ND side.

A lowhead on another tributary in Roseau county has also now been renovated in this fashion this year as well.

All in all I see it as a good thing for all the same reasons Ed mentioned above. When that Drayton dam gets renovated, I'll adapt and fish on. I do miss that old lowhead in GFKS that had the 3 steel wingdams off each shore, I fished that alot back in the 80's....Now that place was a fishing hole!

fiskyknut

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