All Dams Gone In Two Years!

From the south suburbs to the northwest suburbs, the Des Plaines River provides some excellent fishing opportunities.

All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Mon 29, 2012 3:51 pm

Well in cook county, almost all dams.... Check out this release, information on Dam removal or modifications on the Chicago, Des Plaines, and Fox Rivers.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 26, 2012
Governor Quinn Announces Completion of Hofmann Dam Removal
Dam removal on Des Plaines River, Chicago River and other waterways will improve aquatic habitat and remove dangerous impediments to paddlers

RIVERSIDE – Governor Pat Quinn today moved forward with a major initiative that will significantly improve the health of Illinois waterways by removing or modifying 16 low-head dams throughout the state over the next several years. At an event in Riverside, the governor announced the completion of the Hofmann Dam removal. The dam removal initiative is the latest by Governor Quinn to protect the environment and preserve Illinois’ natural resources.
“Free-flowing rivers benefit all of Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “Removing these dams will improve waterways across our state, making them safer for kayakers and paddlers who use them for exercise and recreation, and for anglers who enjoy fishing in these rivers. This dam removal initiative will improve conservation, water quality and outdoor recreation in Illinois.”
The Illinois Dam Removal Initiative will invest nearly $10 million to remove 12 dams in Cook County on the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers, including the three that have already been removed. Those projects included removing the Hofmann, Fairbank and Armitage dams in Riverside, which is helping to restore the Des Plaines River to a more free-flowing channel. Removing these dams increases the diversity of fish and aquatic life, as well as eliminating dangers for undercurrents that were a threat to paddlers and fishing enthusiasts.
The removal of the three Des Plaines River dams, combined with the remaining nine removal projects planned in Cook County, are being funded through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program. These dams are targeted for removal over the next two years. The dams being removed or renovated have no benefit to plants and animals that inhabit the rivers or to people who use waterways for recreation. In addition, four other dams on the Vermilion River and Fox River will be modified or removed as part of the initiative.
“Removing dams improves water quality, aquatic habitat and recreational safety,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller. “It also addresses the issue of dealing with crumbling and aging infrastructure, which would be much more expensive to repair or replace. These dams no longer serve their original purpose and removal or modification will save the state and local communities money in the future.”
Important factors that were considered in removal of the Hofmann Dam included the distribution and type of vegetation that occurs on exposed stream banks, the effects on local infrastructure and community support. The project was implemented under an agreement between the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Chicago District and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The IDNR agreed to acquire all necessary rights of way for the project.
“The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is the property owner of much of the land along the Des Plaines River, and we have been strong supporters of the removal of the Hofmann Dam since day one,” Arnold Randall, Forest Preserve District of Cook County General Superintendent said. “Our mission is to maintain and preserve the natural lands of this County for the pleasure, recreation and education of the public. The Hofmann Dam removal project, and others like it, can help us do just that.”
The areas extending upstream from Hofmann Dam will see the most direct physical benefit from the improvements. The upstream reach and river channel have been converted from a slow-moving, deeper pool habitat to a free-flowing stream habitat. The most important benefits include enhanced drainage system at nearby Swan Pond Park to prevent entrapment of fish, increased fish passage, restoration of the natural flow of the river and improved public safety. More than 15 miles of the Des Plaines River, upstream of the previously existing dam, has been opened to all fish and other aquatic species and a significant increase in biodiversity will be gained.
“It’s time for these dams to be removed to protect waterway users and aquatic species alike,” said Margaret Frisbie, Friends of the Chicago River Executive Director. “When we eliminate these barriers we open miles and miles of the river system which is critical to restoring its health. ‘Friends’ has been working on dam removal with Governor Quinn from the beginning. I want to thank the Governor for once again being a champion of Rivers in Illinois.”
Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is the largest in Illinois history, supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs. The program, which aims to modernize Illinois’ infrastructure, began in 2009.
Remaining dam removal projects include:
The North Branch of the Chicago River -- Remove or modify four low head dams and free up 55 miles of waterway from downtown Chicago to the north. Partners include the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Park District and other non-governmental organizations. Total cost estimate: $3,500,000.

Tam O’ Shanter Dam - Removal
Chick Evans Golf Course Dam - Removal
Winnetka Road Dam - Removal
North Branch Dam at River Park - Modification

The Des Plaines River -- Remove or modify eight low head dams and free up 32 miles of waterway for paddlers and fish passage. Partners include the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Total costs estimate: $6,000,000.

Dam 1 - Removal
Dam 2 - Removal
Dam 4 - Removal
Dempster Street Dam - Removal
Touhy Ave Dam - Removal
Armitage Dam - Removal (work complete)
Fairbank Road Dam - Removal (work complete)
Hofmann Dam - Removal (work complete)

Other dams being considered for removal or modification under the initiative include:

Blackberry Creek Dam (Yorkville, Fox River) - Removal
Vermilion River Dam (Danville, Vermilion River) - Removal
Ellsworth Park Dam (Danville, Vermilion River) - Removal
Buzzi Unicem Dam (Oglesby, Vermillion River) - Additional modification
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby BrookfieldAngler » Oct Mon 29, 2012 3:53 pm

Heck yeah!
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Mon 29, 2012 3:59 pm

On the Des Plaines, in Cook County, from North to South the Dams go in this order:

Dam No.1
Dam No.2
Dempster St. Dam (downtown Des plaines)
Touhy Ave. Dam aka Dam No. 3( 1/5 mile north of Touhy Ave)
Dam No. 4 (Which is sometimes called Devon Ave or Higgins Ave)

Dont ask why the number system isnt aligned.

Ive done the lake county stretch as well, loaded with dams. I think theres another half dozen or so..
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby lefty_stratton » Oct Mon 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Aux Pleins wrote:Blackberry Creek Dam (Yorkville, Fox River) - Removal

Great news for me. Thanks for posting Aux Pleins formally know as DPR
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Skifish1 » Oct Mon 29, 2012 4:46 pm

I'm going to start a petition to keep #2. :moresarcasm:
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Mon 29, 2012 4:57 pm

ha I knew ski and Jim wouldn't like dam 2 newsEven you can admit the river under dam 2 could use a drink.. although that green soupy inlet above the launch might finally dry up. Which in my eyes is a good thing.. its not meant to be there and only produces 10inch bass.. stagnant water=no gooda
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby bapentec » Oct Mon 29, 2012 5:34 pm

yeah i fish #2 alot too perfect structure for nice smallies....of course there are none :shock:
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby TheWoz » Oct Mon 29, 2012 6:08 pm

I wonder what that will do to the flow down by me?
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby WaterGuy » Oct Mon 29, 2012 7:47 pm

Good news either way, but yeah, it sure would be nice to see at least 1 Fox river dam on this list.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby ffishman » Oct Mon 29, 2012 8:08 pm

TaterToT wrote:Shouldn't change much Woz.

I wish they did this to the fox.

Before the dam, you could drive to Blarneys Island, that is how low the water was.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby ejeraser » Oct Mon 29, 2012 9:03 pm

maybe there plan is to do a dredge and then have boat transportation through out the area Would be something interesting but not why they are removing them
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby AndrewR » Oct Tue 30, 2012 12:59 am

While this is good news for the local 'flows, I'm not getting my hopes up too high on this one.

There is so much planning, and strategy, and fighting, and more fighting, and even more fighting that takes place in order to destruct these dams.
Stuff like this for example, by hippies who don't understand why: http://www.saltcreekgreenwayassociation ... llDam.html

This is an example of why I'm skeptical ------ In March 2009 I attended the official meeting that voted in favor of demolishing the dam @ Graue Mill (Salt Creek - Hinsdale). It was presented by the DuPage River Salt Creek Work Group. They're the coordinators to eventually have it removed. Plan was to remove the dam at the cost of $2 million, but to preserve the wheel and turbine areas of it as it has historical significance. With the funding already secured, this dam removal was to begin as early as 2010..... But almost three years later why do I still find myself standing and casting into a 1ft hole at the face of the dam?

Majority of the dams on this list may be demolished, but likely not every one of them. Remember, this state doesn't have much money. Plus, it tends to listen to the non-fishermen moreso than folks like us who have a better understanding of the dams negative effects. At least it's a trend I've noticed.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Tue 30, 2012 10:57 am

These low head dams are already partially collapsed.. being only 3foot they'll take less than a week to remove.. not quite as big a project as G-Mill, besides dam 1 & 2 these dams are almost exactly the same as the Fairbanks dam. Dam 1 & 2 have suffered major erosion and do not resemble what was originally built. There used to be handrails going across those dams so you could walk across. 90yrs later those two dams are too f-up.

There's nothing historical about all these dams, I'm sure they'll have half em done in the next 18months. Already seen the crew surveying which trees to demo to get up close to dam 4..

I think cook county yuppie kayakers and ralph freese were the driving force behind this.. they have a ton of sway. More than dupage county hippies...

Trust me if the "smug" from Riverside couldn't hold off Hoffman dams demolition, no one has a chance to stop these. Seems like that Rivers and Stream specialist dude has a crush on the DPR and thats got to be a good thing.

And that G- Mill link Andrew posted must have been written by the tea party, thats some bad propaganda. Can't believe someone with a pulse wrote that.

the word aesthetic should never be used to describe an ugly river dam.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Skifish1 » Oct Tue 30, 2012 11:24 am

May save my life too...I have to admit I did a couple stupid things with the dams a couple times with the Yak.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby DasGoby » Oct Tue 30, 2012 12:29 pm

I think the Chicago River damn removals are interesting. Who knows what that would do to the fishing at River Park. The removal of the Winnetka street damn makes sense but it could lower the water levels below the Willow damn a little bit which could affect that popular spot.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Tue 30, 2012 1:19 pm

TaterToT wrote:I think most of this has nothing to do with yuppies or hippies. Its about flood control.


You are half right, lol.. flood control is not the reason though.. safety and stream rehabilitation is number one reasons. They're so small they have no effect on flooding, they actually just disappear under the surface of the water during high water. I float right over them all you see is some water swirling on the surface but no elevation drop or anything.. however, G-mill being a larger dam on a smaller stream probably has a little effect.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Tue 30, 2012 1:25 pm

DasGoby wrote:I think the Chicago River damn removals are interesting. Who knows what that would do to the fishing at River Park. The removal of the Winnetka street damn makes sense but it could lower the water levels below the Willow damn a little bit which could affect that popular spot.


I guess they're building a chute there so you can float from the north branch into the channel at river park.. those small dams around the lagoons will not effect water levels much.. only the immediate areas under and below will notice small changes. When they removed "my" dam in elmwood park last year, it amazed us anglers how little water levels changed above the dam..
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Busse Jim » Oct Tue 30, 2012 6:48 pm

Friggin great! i understand i'm new to this dpr fishing thing and most likely missing something here, but then in most average and low water times wont the cook county area and lakecounty be a f#@$king shallow creek with no fish worth catching, at least with the low head dams it keeps a nice amount of water in each section to hold and sustain fish. If there crumbling just rebuild them. Is it really better by the hofmann dam now ? glad they got the contaminated sediment out but whats the water level above it and below it? what holds fish in spots now?

If its for improving it,How much BETTER can the DPR get , its got Bass, Northerns, smallies, rockies, gills, crappies, clear water,mostly clean hard bottom, at least by my spots and from the posts in most others too,or is this year the exception? and over the last decades the've dumped millions into flood control improvements,(river rd near milwaukee and a host of others) some of which wouldnt have been needed if the river didnt have dams in the first place, but that was done before any of us were born , and are already in place, and stupid people built or continue to buy there houses in a well know flood plain. Seems like another example of the government throwing good money after bad on special interest and advocacy groups pet projects so they can appear to be more green. and where will they get the money to do it ? gee i wonder.
A jobs THing,right. temp jobs gone when the projects done

and auxplaines those back water arms give the pike some where to stay out of the current during higher flows, since they cant tolerate stronger currents
when the river is real high after super heavy rains you cant get to it to fish from shore, you'd be fishing in the woods and the flow is too strong to kayak.
is it really that hard or inconvenient to portage a canoe.

Return the river to its free flowing unempeded past? wont that create a highway for the asian carp to make it all the way to racine or will they do as good a job keeping them out of DPR just like there doing now in the illinois river and lake michigan, the've detected asian carp DNA in lake michigan already have'nt they?
Yea, I'm all over the map with this and could be wrong on some points ( surely, some of the brighter thinkers on this site will point out my many mistakes)But excuse me if i am skeptical of a politician telling me its for the greater good when hes never caught a pike on the DPR, HA!

next we could remove the 2 dams at Busse so salt creek could return to its former glory.
But Thats what you get when you dont vote or vote wrong!
ANYONE but Quinn 2016
Oh well after writing all this i might as well hit submit. Let the arrows fly!
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Tue 30, 2012 7:50 pm

Jim you will be surprised how little the water level drops behind that dam.. you know the 2inches of water infront of the dam? Yea, that'll finally have enough water for some fish too.. the more noticeable change will be on the low side of the dam, which is the trickle you should have mentioned .but you never fish that side by boat... oh wait you can't drop in there cuz the dam is holding back the two/three foot of water that should be there. You get what I am saying ? Who cares if you lose that 5ft of water that's a hundred yards or so behind the dam, it will still be 2-3ft or so like it is here by me when I lost my 100yrds of 5ft water with the removal of the armitage dam. What you gain on the low side supplements any dramatic river level change you might think will take place..

There's plenty of natural pools and hiding spots for Pike Jim, not just the man made one that is most convenient for you to fish at. You should give my area a try once, the next dam downstream is over 30miles away, giving fish a larger area for migration, foraging, spawning, or whatever the specialists say. Youll probably land twice the fish and they'll most likely be fatter then what's being had in that dammed up section you've been hitting .. then you'll leave the dark side and be for the change.. I know you are a knowledgeable angler, you will see the light.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby wallhead » Oct Tue 30, 2012 8:06 pm

You bring up some good points jim.Lots of speculating on how dam removal will improve the river.While its still to early to access the impact below hoffman (spring will be a better gauge) as of now,not too good.I live close to the river and check things out almost daily.I,d rather not make any judgments until spring time.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Skifish1 » Oct Tue 30, 2012 10:48 pm

Just hope who ever is making decisions is super competent in fish science and sequence of removals and doing this over an extended period of time. The fishery is good. I'd expect some fall off in fishing and reproduction during the process until is stabilizes into something else down the road whether same, worse, or better fishery.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 6:23 am

Deep tunnel was the first step to rejuvenating the river, dam removal will make it an even better fishery.. ill believe the experts on this one..
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Skifish1 » Oct Wed 31, 2012 6:59 am

It may end up as a smallie and catfish river after a number of years dependent on what the current increase is. Time will tell. I would imagine you could geek out and swag a current rate increase if you remove dams. It could effectively be a 1 or 2 foot slope increase from dam to dam so whatever that results in current wise between the dams that may be spaced every 1-3 miles
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 8:08 am

These dam removals wont speed up current that much at all... too small.. the small dams you can barely remember where they even were after theyre gone.

what speeds up current is rain and storms, hence its takes a rise in river level for that to happen. Faster current and rain benefit the dpr. Pike fatten up after rain events.. the ecosystem is used to a fluctuating current. There wasn't much of that this year..

The dpr right now is the slowest its ever been in my life, don't confuse this year as a normal rate..

You definitely got that right when you mentioned a catfish river.. channel cats are one of the most migratory specie we have in our rivers.. its a no brainer to fish and find them at dams because they're friggin trapped at a dead end.. catfish was also one of the first new specie found above the big old Hoffman dam after they removed it. Believe me when I say there are none in the mid to north cook county section.. bullheads yes, channels or flatheads no.. I've heard of some reports of catches in the Wisconsin section, but DNR shockings have never produced a specimen.. believe me I've caught a dpr river channel on a spinner more than once, holy crap is that a fun fight.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 8:36 am

Rather than try and convince bussejim and skifish that the section they fish is the underpopulated, undiversified, over neglected section of the DPR that the DNR is trying to fix, I will just show a few pics from the south DPR of fish that might make their way up very soon if there are no barriers..
2012-05-26 11.52.05.jpg
2012-06-16 07.51.24.jpg
2012-05-26 11.15.27.jpg
2012-05-26 11.19.45.jpg
Did you know the state record Drum was caught in the Des Plaines River? Trash fish or not, its still a state record :shock:

these fish do not include the other dozen or so minnow and forage species that also will benefit the northern sections.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Theshocker1293 » Oct Wed 31, 2012 8:55 am

Sorry Jim but I disagree with you buddy. I think this Dam removal will be more of a benefit than a nuisance. Sure the current might increase a bit but that just means you can finally upgrade your trolling motor to a #55 haha. I believe in time the DPR will get even better and make it more productive in my neck of the woods. Bring on the removal I'll be waiting on the South Side to catch some toothy critters.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby BrookfieldAngler » Oct Wed 31, 2012 9:16 am

Cranked wrote:I wonder what the thoughts of the DPRAA are on this subject.


There is no official position as members have different opinions. I personally think it's great
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Skifish1 » Oct Wed 31, 2012 10:50 am

A.P. I see your fish but I don't want drum, channel cats, and gar (I will take stripers though!). When I fish smallies on the fox and pick-up channel cats it just pisses me off. Some nice sized cats and always big and great fight but that's not what I was fishing for. The thing I like about the DPR is it produces pike and LMB (and crappies) of which rivers and creeks like Fox and Dupage etc don't consistently produce. After dams are removed if the pike and LMB remain that is great but it's some level or risk that there numbers may go downhill some. Also, farther south there are more creeks feeding the DPR so there is naturally more water so I agree w/Jim that's a risk for lower levels north. A scientist should study that.

And btw...just north of the river rd/axehead lake yak put-in (steep bank area) if you go upriver 200-300 yards there are a few cats there. Have clearly seen them. They ain't small either...I assume channel cats and all about 20" +- 2 inches. Seen them a couple times this summer. Most I seen was a group of 3. Probably not many but they have your name on them :lol:
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby pinecone » Oct Wed 31, 2012 11:53 am

Busse Jim wrote:mostly clean hard bottom
- not the river I'm familiar with. :-?

Also, high water has always offered better than average pike fishing as it gives pike more ambush points to target them. I agree with most of AP's observations.....specifically that this year was not the typical year with high temps, drought conditions along with dam removals. Give it time....that river has traditionally risen and fallen several times a year (just not this year) and will definitely again. It is a unique system and will only improve with dam removal IMHO. :D
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 12:13 pm

I
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 12:28 pm

[quote="Aux Pleins"]I totally get skifishs fears if I may call them that.. the thing about water level is, the dpr flows north to south. The only way you lose water is when a dam is built. Then everything under the dam for a bit shrinks to a trickle.. then being a low grade river the depth behind the dam increases a bit, but more dramatically the river widens when spreading across the low plains. You wont lose any water unless you stop flushing.. dpr is 30% discharge from treatment plants at lo stage. So getting rid of the dams will redistribute the water to the low side of all those dams. You can't keep mentioning that nice pool behind the dams unless you start acknowledging the dangerously low inch deep water on the low side of the dam.

More creeks in south doesn't created depth, we still have areas that you can't even float thru. Some of the deepest holes at 10ft are found in my favorite lake county stretches. Pike were in this river before the dams when the river often dried up into separate sections, that was long before the hundred or so marshes were channeled into man made creeks spewing into the river. It was long before the billions of gallons of treated waste water from 11 different treatment plants were channeled in. Long before concrete and asphalt covered the prairie belt surrounding the river. All that being said Pike been here a while even survived thousands of years of water tremendously lower than this . IMO the river is still too high, should be 30% lower.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 12:29 pm

]I totally get skifishs fears if I may call them that.. the thing about water level is, the dpr flows north to south. The only way you lose water is when a dam is built. Then everything under the dam for a bit shrinks to a trickle.. then being a low grade river the depth behind the dam increases a bit, but more dramatically the river widens when spreading across the low plains. You wont lose any water unless you stop flushing.. dpr is 30% discharge from treatment plants at lo stage. So getting rid of the dams will redistribute the water to the low side of all those dams. You can't keep mentioning that nice pool behind the dams unless you start acknowledging the dangerously low inch deep water on the low side of the dam.

More creeks in south doesn't created depth, we still have areas that you can't even float thru. Some of the deepest holes at 10ft are found in my favorite lake county stretches. Pike were in this river before the dams when the river often dried up into separate sections, that was long before the hundred or so marshes were channeled into man made creeks spewing into the river. It was long before the billions of gallons of treated waste water from 11 different treatment plants were channeled in. Long before concrete and asphalt covered the prairie belt surrounding the river. All that being said Pike been here a while even survived thousands of years of water tremendously lower than this . IMO the river is still too high, should be 30% lower.[/quote]
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby AndrewR » Oct Wed 31, 2012 2:42 pm

Busse Jim wrote:If its for improving it,How much BETTER can the DPR get , its got Bass, Northerns, smallies, rockies, gills, crappies, clear water,mostly clean hard bottom, at least by my spots and from the posts in most others too,or is this year the exception?


It opens up an avenue for increased spawning migrations, and new habitat that was once blocked off for the fish down south.
Because of this, continued stocking of certain species might no longer be needed to sustain the populations.


and auxplaines those back water arms give the pike some where to stay out of the current during higher flows, since they cant tolerate stronger currents
when the river is real high after super heavy rains you cant get to it to fish from shore, you'd be fishing in the woods and the flow is too strong to kayak.
is it really that hard or inconvenient to portage a canoe.


Hearsay. Pike and muskellunge are actually built to tolerate riverine environments more so than lakes. Within their native ranges, these fish are more native to rivers than lakes. They can swim and burst off at speeds of up to 20mph, right? I think they can swim fine through current.

Return the river to its free flowing unempeded past? wont that create a highway for the asian carp to make it all the way to racine or will they do as good a job keeping them out of DPR just like there doing now in the illinois river and lake michigan, the've detected asian carp DNA in lake michigan already have'nt they?


During high water, the low head Hoffman Dam would have been their invitation to invade the north. Serving for no purpose on the asian carp subject.

Found this video last night of what the former dam area looks like right now. Not sure what everyone's complaining about.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfz79-cXn9s
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Busse Jim » Oct Wed 31, 2012 9:51 pm

ux pleines and tatertot , first of I’m not a dam fisherman, I fish lakes,I’ve only explored the DPR for the last month+ and just by my old neighborhood,and I only launch BY the dam and head upstream , i’m not an expert ,I’m Being protective of my new pike fishing area and would rather see it not Changed just for the sake of some politically correct anti dam advocates, or politicians calling it a works project or even in the name of flood control. Because I cant see the harm of these low head dams,But do see a benefit. When the waters real low as it is now and happens every year,they create deeper water that sustains fish in the areas that would be to shallow for them without it,keeping fish in more areas of the river system. when the waters high the dams are low enough so the fish can travel up or down stream. If the improvement is my pike can leave my area for your area, screw that. But since it’s a givin their coming out I’ll just get in as much DPR pike as I can before it.

Since you might have only fished the limited spots that are open up here on shore it probrobly didn’t seem that good to ya, we not only have 100 ‘ of deep water at the dam, for a 1-1/2 miles upstream of d2 its 4 to 7+ feet deep averaging 5’ with mostly steep 5-12’ banks heavily tree lined , not condusive for the bank or shallow wade fishing you seem to be used to from those picts., and I don’t prefer. I, like skifish ,prefer the pike and LMB action we got now and had hoped to get year after year.

I don’t care whats below the dam I don’t fish it its too shallow to hold much fish and removing the dams wont make it deeper it will just make the water above the dam just as shallow. Causing MY fish to go somewhere else. Doubt they ‘d be bigger and fatter up by me if theres only 3’ of water to live in.

AndrewR, right,according to the 3 pike and musky books I have they live and do great in rivers, always have but they are not great current swimmers and don’t do as well in faster moving rivers. Preferring rivers with a gradient drop of 1-2’,my point was Aux pleines wishing the back water arm by D2 dried up with the dam removal. the back water areas are where they go to get out of stronger currents caused by rains and flooding,they cant fight it for long. Besides needing those super shallow ,muddy spots for breeding.

Anyway as I said before , it’s a done deal ,still having a ball catching em this year
No offence shock, but knocking out D2 don’t mean youll land one down by you :P
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Oct Wed 31, 2012 10:49 pm

The Guy who is a big part of this from IDNR, with the job title river and stream specialist, isn't just some p.c. anti dam dude. He is THE!, p.c. anti dam dude mutha trucka... j/k

Jim, I actually been floating that stretch way longer than a month... I can tell you are very un schooled on the DPR.. after a while you'll see there are Pike and lrg mouth throughout the system. Not just in that slow oxygen deprived dead pool above dam 2.. Even in the sections loaded wit sandbars that are too shallow to boat. Secondly catching a half dozen Pike in 4hrs while boating the north section is a pretty easy feat anywhere from here to kenosha county. In my section near ohare, catching 20pike in a 3hr float happened quite a bit this year.. another thing you learn season to season is the hot spots will eventually change. Its good to explore more of the river, you might find you've been missing out all along.

How deep did ya say it was by the Euclid bridge? Its really shallow upstream of the bridge around the bend. And the dam removal wont drop it anymore, that's too far upstream. I thought it would happen here at the armitage dam, it didn't change anything after a 100yards or so, but did add about a foot of water to the low side.
:moresarcasm:
And no one wants your 18 inch pike Jim, like I said before that section is a Dink circus, the big boys are 20 mins downstream where theres barrier free water for miles and miles..
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby pinecone » Nov Thu 01, 2012 9:35 am

Here, here....can I get an amen fo AP? :)
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby TheWoz » Nov Thu 01, 2012 10:18 am

Aux Pleins wrote:Rather than try and convince bussejim and skifish that the section they fish is the underpopulated, undiversified, over neglected section of the DPR that the DNR is trying to fix, I will just show a few pics from the south DPR of fish that might make their way up very soon if there are no barriers..
2012-05-26 11.52.05.jpg
2012-06-16 07.51.24.jpg
2012-05-26 11.15.27.jpg
2012-05-26 11.19.45.jpg
Did you know the state record Drum was caught in the Des Plaines River? Trash fish or not, its still a state record :shock:

these fish do not include the other dozen or so minnow and forage species that also will benefit the northern sections.


MMMMMM I hope they don't get my fish! Those are MY fish :mrgreen:
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby TheWoz » Nov Thu 01, 2012 10:29 am

Wouldn't you guys like to get some cooler fish anyways?

Image
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Nov Thu 01, 2012 11:44 am

Luv me some dpr porn! Very nice woz
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby AndrewR » Nov Thu 01, 2012 12:27 pm

My position on this dam removal is "pro", but for different reasons than what's mainly been mentioned.

Since I travel lots from April thru October, I don't fish the river as often as I used to. Would I like to fish it again as much? Probably not. When I'm gone and get spoiled it's hard to return to the DPR. I'd rather go where the better fishing is for me simply because I can. Most of the time I'm too lazy to fish this river and its creeks anymore. But getting to my point....

What I'm excited about most will be the spring spawning runs. I will be shocked if walleyes, sauger, and bass aren't making their travels up through Salt Creek to me in order to do their thing in March/April. Walleye spawn unsuccessfully in this creek, but just the presence of additional fish will open up an entire new world if I start seeing and catching more fish from my backyard when I'm here and not out of town. Since 2005-2007 when I probably had the best fishing of my life on this stream, I have seen the quality and quantity of all species on a drastic decline. It's gotten worse by the year it seems. No more crappies, fewer walleyes, less bigger bass, and more annoying little pike than I can care for. I used to catch 20+ quality walleyes per year from here. This year, zippo. The fishing and its results can only improve with this.

A. P. - I appreciate your enthusiasm and passion for this river. Keep it up, as this entire watershed could use more stewards like yourself. I was once like that with Salt Creek but lost it over time.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Cast4anyting » Nov Thu 01, 2012 1:23 pm

That dam in the background you and Woz are posting pictures in...is that going down as well? Looks 10 times bigger that what the Hoffman dam use to be? If they are going to break a dam down, why leave 1/3 of the section on both sides?

I'm all for it, but if its anything like the Hoffman...hmmm..they can do a better job.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Nov Thu 01, 2012 2:10 pm

I think they left the ends of the Hoffman dam to act as footing to add stability to the outer retaining walls. But then I read the 150 ft span they ccut is the original span of the river.

Who knows maybe the tower would of collasped if they went any further.. you're right cast, any concrete surrounding the river banks really looks like crap.
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby TheWoz » Nov Thu 01, 2012 3:04 pm

Cast4anyting wrote:That dam in the background you and Woz are posting pictures in...is that going down as well? Looks 10 times bigger that what the Hoffman dam use to be?


I'd have to say no. That one is for the shipping canals lock....thingy :)
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Busse Jim » Nov Thu 01, 2012 9:25 pm

Aux Pleins wrote:
Jim, I actually been floating that stretch way longer than a month... I can tell you are very un schooled on the DPR.. after a while you'll see there are Pike and lrg mouth throughout the system. Not just in that slow oxygen deprived dead pool above dam 2.. Even in the sections loaded wit sandbars that are too shallow to boat. Secondly catching a half dozen Pike in 4hrs while boating the north section is a pretty easy feat anywhere from here to kenosha county. In my section near ohare, catching 20pike in a 3hr float happened quite a bit this year.. another thing you learn season to season is the hot spots will eventually change. Its good to explore more of the river, you might find you've been missing out all along.

How deep did ya say it was by the Euclid bridge? Its really shallow upstream of the bridge around the bend. And the dam removal wont drop it anymore, that's too far upstream. I thought it would happen here at the armitage dam, it didn't change anything after a 100yards or so, but did add about a foot of water to the low side.
:moresarcasm:
And no one wants your 18 inch pike Jim, like I said before that section is a Dink circus, the big boys are 20 mins downstream where theres barrier free water for miles and miles..


Yea, aux pleines, i am unschooled on the Dpr as a whole , but i'm teaching myself now, but i'm not fishing the WHOLE thing, just the stretch close to me that i can get my boat in. I'm not driving to lyons to launch. and it dont look like i could back my truck down the launch at shiller park . I know your right that no dams might make it more diversified river system, but the river is a bit different in the northern half then the southern half, its slower(less of a gradient drop per mile) and shallower, used to dry out most years a few times with no rain or you could walk across it( all before my time) with out the dams, which was the original purpose of them, to keep some deeper water in those shallower stretches. but all i'm interested in is pike and i'll take the dink 18s with a chance at some 30s. for someone who's only caught 40 in the last 17 years out of Busse ( not a pike lake) getting even 22 in 9 visits is a blast! and my buddy theshocker would love to get even one that size. and soon I'll be able to land 20- in a day , i hope. I'm sorry your so jaded and small pike dont excite you any more :sarcasm: but i 've still got years before that happens to me :moresarcasm:
as far as the depth goes in my stagnant pool its 4-5' deep under the bridge on the east of the center support and a 4-6' channel on the west next to the support with a 1'-2' area extending the rest of the way to the west wall. that would dry out with no dam and by the nature center and allison woods most likely the same., wouldn't be able to boat past that. sure i'd be able to go south some ,not sure how far though. theres 2" of water flowing over the 3' dam dropping 3' to below it so the water at this flow rate would most likely drop 2-3' right? leaving 1-3' left and the river would be even skinnier on some of the inside bends where its only 2' deep now, maybe only 20-30'. that's all i'm saying. your'e right i might have some deeper holes south, guess i'll have to find out. Yes i'd love to catch a gar like those at least once but i still prefer bass,and northerns and some more busse musky and eyes. We are heading out there at d2 tomorrow for some dink pike in the afternoon , grab your yak or whatever and join us if you can, i'd be fun! Get em while you still can!
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Skifish1 » Nov Thu 01, 2012 11:31 pm

Man if I could get the pain cocktail to work for my screwed up back tomorrow I will be somewhere on the river in the afternoon. North or South I don't know...
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Aux Pleins » Nov Fri 02, 2012 8:55 am

Its all good Jim, we may not be speaking the same language, but I am sure your hopes are the same as everyone else's on the dpr. That is an always improving ecosystem and fishery. Dang I would love to take you up on that boat outing one day, its been lonely on my stretch since it got cold. All those so called fishing buddies of mine are princesses, scared of cold and wind.
Skifish1 wrote:Man if I could get the pain cocktail to work for my screwed up back tomorrow I will be somewhere on the river in the afternoon. North or South I don't know...
Indians had the same problems with their canoes, I heard they used hashish for the pain.. :sarcasm: 8)
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Busse Jim » Nov Fri 02, 2012 7:57 pm

Yea its all cool 8)
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Busse Jim » Feb Wed 03, 2021 10:49 pm

10 and a half hour day with a few times crossing the dpr had me thinking about the river. so i spent a couple hours re-reading some old Dpr posts. (tend to do that in February, thinking about the up-coming season) Thought i'd bump this post back up for some retrospect. It's been long enough. Any thoughts?
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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby Rambler » Feb Thu 04, 2021 9:40 am

So glad to know I'm not the only one with cabin fever.

As far as I know all the DPR dams in Cook Cty except Touhy & Devon are gone. The big dam in the pictures above is the one in Joliet & I doubt it will ever be removed. There was an article in the Trib a few days ago about a project there to keep Asia carp from moving any closer to Lake Michigan. Electric barriers, bubble walls, etc.

As I've said before, I favor dam removal in spite of the fact that in the short term it messes up the fishing. I used to catch lots of pike at the old Armitage St dam. When they took it out the pike left. :(
Keep calm and fish on...

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Re: All Dams Gone In Two Years!

Postby urbanHog312 » Feb Thu 04, 2021 10:39 am

i labored to catch a handful of decent northerns this summer in spots i historically would wrangle gators blindfolded. not good.
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