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There are seemingly endless amounts of rivers, creeks and their tributaries throughout northeast Illinois.
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More dam removals

Oct Tue 13, 2020 7:14 am

Article on front page of the Trib this AM says lots of dams are slated for removal.

Hammel Woods dam on the DuPage, Touhy & Devon dams on DRP, Batavia dam, and more are on the chopping block.

Good news for all avowed dam haters.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Tue 13, 2020 3:42 pm

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct- ... story.html

Includes Batavia and North Aurora dams. Both near me. Wow! And I thought IL was broke, no $$.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Tue 13, 2020 5:18 pm

They broke because they keep spending...
This is great tho, stoked about dpr and hammel woods

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 9:57 am

Dude please, please, please link the Dupage directly to the Des Plaines!

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 10:04 am

Dog: Are you suggesting a canal? Got enough of them already.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Those last 2 remaining dams on the Des Plaines have been slated for removal since 2012. Don't hold your breath though.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 12:42 pm

Rambler wrote:Dog: Are you suggesting a canal? Got enough of them already.


I think he means hammel woods. I cant imagine many fish being able to go above it except during very high water event.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 6:17 pm

Shorewood and Channahon dams...kill 'em both

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 6:29 pm

why the hell did they put dams on these tiny rivers to begin with?

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 6:35 pm

Ah...I get it. Sorry for being obtuse. Seems to me the Dup & DPR are already linked in that the Dup joins the DPR. I thought you were pushing for a direct connection way upstream.

Over the long haul dam removal will improve river habitats. But in the short run the fishing might get worse. That's been my experience on the DPR since the dams were taken out.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 14, 2020 10:43 pm

Dam removals screw up fishing for sure, eventually rivers will adjust perhaps form channels upstream of the removed dam and get some foliage restablished to stabilize banks. It coule be a 10 to 15 year adjustment of a removed dam area. I can tell you that dpr dam 1 and 2 removals resulted in lower water obviously and more flow. All the river weeds and vegetation went away and now just clean sand. I believe the water plant roots more or less were blown away. Even areas farther away has resulted in less weeds. I dont care much either way about dpr dam removals the low heads were low and fish could get over. Bigger waters with bigger drop dams like on the Fox blow all those dams away so fish can natrually migrate. The big challenge with dam removal, besides cost, is all the people on a bigger river who have docks and feel entitled to have a dam impounded lake for their boating pleasures.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Sat 17, 2020 8:45 am

Huh, good read, hadn't heard about this. Like Skifish said, all the people with docks and boats on the Fox was the reason against removing the dams over there, surprised to see they green lighted the removal of a few. It'll be interesting to see how Graue Mill plays out, I live less than 10mins away from there and never fish it. Would be nice to catch some smallies there if the river cleans up.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 21, 2020 9:47 am

Rambler wrote:Article on front page of the Trib this AM says lots of dams are slated for removal.

Hammel Woods dam on the DuPage, Touhy & Devon dams on DRP, Batavia dam, and more are on the chopping block.

Good news for all avowed dam haters.


Interesting. I think I found the article you're referring to (from October 13?).


"During the next three years, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources plans to remove dams in Batavia, Carpentersville, North Aurora and Montgomery on the Fox River; the Touhy Avenue Dam near Park Ridge and Dam No. 4 near Rosemont on the Des Plaines River; and dams at the Chick Evans Golf Course in Morton Grove and the Tam O’Shanter Golf Course in Niles on the North Branch of the Chicago River. Other projects are planned elsewhere in Illinois."

From what I can see on Google Earth, and also from a YouTube video showing a guy fishing what I suspect is Dam No. 4, the Touhy and Devon dams are fairly low. I wonder what impact the dam removal (Touhy and #4 specifically) will have on the fishing upstream from those locations. Since I've only recently taken a serious interest in fishing the DPR, I had been planning to check out one or both of those dams. I wonder when they're slated to actually begin the work of removing them.

I live within walking distance of the North Branch near the Chick Evans Golf Course. The North Branch bike trail follows the river a lot of the way and over the years I've often stopped to look for fish. I've never heard of (or seen) anyone fishing the NB, although I once saw a bobber and some line hanging off a tree branch where the Dempster bridge and Metra rail tracks cross over it. It looks extremely shallow and sandy in most locations. I've often wished it was fishable. Not sure I've ever noticed the Evans or Tam O'Shanter dams and I wonder what impact their removal will have on the NB.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 21, 2020 11:17 am

cyanatic wrote:
Rambler wrote:Article on front page of the Trib this AM says lots of dams are slated for removal.

Hammel Woods dam on the DuPage, Touhy & Devon dams on DRP, Batavia dam, and more are on the chopping block.

Good news for all avowed dam haters.


Interesting. I think I found the article you're referring to (from October 13?).


"During the next three years, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources plans to remove dams in Batavia, Carpentersville, North Aurora and Montgomery on the Fox River; the Touhy Avenue Dam near Park Ridge and Dam No. 4 near Rosemont on the Des Plaines River; and dams at the Chick Evans Golf Course in Morton Grove and the Tam O’Shanter Golf Course in Niles on the North Branch of the Chicago River. Other projects are planned elsewhere in Illinois."

From what I can see on Google Earth, and also from a YouTube video showing a guy fishing what I suspect is Dam No. 4, the Touhy and Devon dams are fairly low. I wonder what impact the dam removal (Touhy and #4 specifically) will have on the fishing upstream from those locations. Since I've only recently taken a serious interest in fishing the DPR, I had been planning to check out one or both of those dams. I wonder when they're slated to actually begin the work of removing them.

I live within walking distance of the North Branch near the Chick Evans Golf Course. The North Branch bike trail follows the river a lot of the way and over the years I've often stopped to look for fish. I've never heard of (or seen) anyone fishing the NB, although I once saw a bobber and some line hanging off a tree branch where the Dempster bridge and Metra rail tracks cross over it. It looks extremely shallow and sandy in most locations. I've often wished it was fishable. Not sure I've ever noticed the Evans or Tam O'Shanter dams and I wonder what impact their removal will have on the NB.


I think in 2014 I was told dam 3 & 4 were in the design phase and that Governor Quinn actually signed and approved the removals in 2012.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 21, 2020 11:55 am

Steve: I used to work in Niles & wet my line in the NB regularly -mostly at St. Paul woods. Caught several small LMBs over 2-3 years. If you try use your Uglystick & smallest lures you have.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 21, 2020 1:38 pm

Aux Pleins wrote: think in 2014 I was told dam 3 & 4 were in the design phase and that Governor Quinn actually signed and approved the removals in 2012.


Funny, I forgot about Quinn. No idea what the costs are to remove a dam, but given the current deficit and pension obligations faced by Illinois I wonder how soon they'll go through with it.



Rambler wrote:Steve: I used to work in Niles & wet my line in the NB regularly -mostly at St. Paul woods. Caught several small LMBs over 2-3 years. If you try use your Uglystick & smallest lures you have.


What!!!? St. Paul Woods are a 10 minute walk, tops, from my home. I had no idea. But I've had some stupid and incorrect assumptions about fishing and likely fishing locations over the years. I'm going to have to give it a go. I never asked on this board, but I did google it years ago and couldn't find much info about it. It actually makes sense that there's some kind of fish in there, given that it's a lengthy body of water, no matter how narrow and shallow at points. Despite my age, inside I am still the same little kid who fell in love with fishing so this is exciting stuff for me. :D I don't have super high expectations, but just the thought of being able to walk out my front door and explore a whole new stretch of water with even a remote possibility of finding fish is great. Thanks!

Re: More dam removals

Oct Wed 21, 2020 8:27 pm

1st, there are 3 forks of the NB. The west branch which flows thru Chick Evans, the middle and the east, AKA the Skokie River which flows out of Skokie Lagoons. So when you're fishing the east you're downstream of the 'goons which may explain the presence of LMBs.

When you're at St. Paul keep an eye out for a fishing weir in the river south of Dempster. It was built by Pottawatomies - probably in the 1700s. It's a shallow V-shaped line of rocks with the bottom of the V facing downstream. They'd net fish funneled into the V. And that was way before the DNR stocked the 'goons. :D In fact, it was way before there were 'goons.

Good luck!

Re: More dam removals

Oct Fri 23, 2020 10:17 am

BTW - Steve, you might want to do your approach via the lot off of Caldwell north of Oakton. The bank is generally lower over there.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Fri 23, 2020 7:41 pm

cyanatic wrote:the Touhy and Devon dams are fairly low. I wonder what impact the dam removal (Touhy and #4 specifically) will have on the fishing upstream from those locations
On the DPR, dam #3 and 4 were originally built as 2 foot dam’s, Dams #1 and 2 were originally 4 foot dams (till removed). All the rest north were originally 2 foot dams( since removed). I think one of them was a weir dam. All of them have lost up to a foot over time from silt and time. The biggest is way south ,15 feet? Aux pleins?
Never studied the Fox’s dams, or Salt creeks. Is that the only dam on the Salt between Busse and the former Riverside?

cyanatic wrote:No idea what the costs are to remove a dam

Can’t image it SHOULD cost that much. Clear a path, Prep the ground for heavy equipment, Wait for low water, Rip out a small section, Let the water level fall. Tear out the rest with an excavator, Haul it to trucks, Finishing touches, Done. Could do it in a week, weather permitting.
But our elected and un-elected “ officials” some how triple, quadruple, and more, the costs. Ill inois.

mike son wrote:It'll be interesting to see how Graue Mill plays out

It will lower the water equal to the height of the dam for quite some distance north based on the gradient of the river. Holes that were deep enough to hold fish might not be. It will shrink the width, though not buy much depending on the steepness of the banks, and it will speed up the flow without question. Downstream won’t change much , But will be faster from then on
As Skifish said they’ll most likely be less weeds. Faster CFS, especially during high water will see to tha. But that will take some of the man made muck and silt away too over time, back to the natural river bed.

The fishing? If there are some deeper (relative) holes or spots, they’ll still be there,. At least they are in my stretch. As Aux Pleins has said more species will move up the river. The smallies seem new, but I suspect they were there. Not hard to get over a low-head dam.
Till I catch or see a Busse walleye (besides Marcus’s dpr monster) or Ski there I’m not sold yet. Great for flood mitigation and nature though.


Wish they did #3 and #4 in 2014 and stalled on #1 and #2 instead till now. Might have got my 30+. :wink: :lol:

Hatchetman wrote:why the hell did they put dams on these tiny rivers to begin with?


For fishing and recreation.

cyanatic wrote:I've never heard of (or seen) anyone fishing the NB
[/quote]
JasonN used to.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Sat 24, 2020 8:03 am

The effects of the Grau mill dam removal probably won't be known for 10 years.

If you want to see video on how dams are removed google 'Hofmann dam removal'. Lots of stuff on youtube.

Re: More dam removals

Oct Mon 26, 2020 9:47 am

Rambler wrote:1st, there are 3 forks of the NB. The west branch which flows thru Chick Evans, the middle and the east, AKA the Skokie River which flows out of Skokie Lagoons. So when you're fishing the east you're downstream of the 'goons which may explain the presence of LMBs.

When you're at St. Paul keep an eye out for a fishing weir in the river south of Dempster. It was built by Pottawatomies - probably in the 1700s. It's a shallow V-shaped line of rocks with the bottom of the V facing downstream. They'd net fish funneled into the V. And that was way before the DNR stocked the 'goons. :D In fact, it was way before there were 'goons.

Good luck!


And the fishing weir is still there? I certainly hope so and that no one has messed with it. That is really fascinating to me. When we first moved to the area in 2008, I had heard that there were "marker trees" (I'm not sure if I'm getting the name correctly) either carved or bent by the Potawatomi to mark trails. But a little research shows that at least one of them, a white oak that had been near Beckwith Road by the Metra tracks, was either cut down or died of disease. I found a 2013 article about the MG Historical Society putting it on display.

After work last Thursday I took a walk over to the North Branch with fishing gear in tow. Unfortunately, I forgot how much it had rained. I entered St. Paul Woods about 60 yards south of Dempster but couldn't even get to the bank of the NB from there. I had wanted to make my way along the bank up toward Dempster. A normally dry gully was backed up with water and looked like the shores of a small lake (photos below). In one photo you can see the flooded area in the foreground and the actual North Branch is the stretch of water beyond it. I made a few casts into the flooded section but didn't get anything. I hope it calms down and these water recede.

[EDIT: I made my trip to the NB before seeing Rambler's comment about approaching from the lot off of Caldwell. Interesting to hear that JasonN has fished the NB. I just picked the wrong time to do it.]

ImageFall sunset over a flooded section of the North Branch by Steve, on Flickr

ImageFlooded gully with North Branch in distance by Steve, on Flickr

Re: More dam removals

Oct Mon 26, 2020 10:53 am

Thanks for sharing the pics. I'd forgotten how nice the maples are up there this time of year.

The weir was still there last time I looked for it- maybe 10 years ago.
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