Chagrin dam gone

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by Parrothead Jim, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Yea, the dam at Daniels Park on the Chagrin got washed away. This will open up miles and miles of new water to fish......JIM
  2. Jim, I saw that on another website. But don't the fish get over that dam already?

  3. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    Wow! I drove past there Saturday morning and couldn't tell where the dam was. Couldn't get a close look because they blocked off the parking lot. I thought maybe the river was just too high or I wasn't seeing right. Good riddance! It was going to be removed someday anyway at great expense. Looks like Mother Nature got the job done for free and with no permits, paperwork, or politics.
  4. The dam being gone will open more water to fishing :) but it was also a barrier against the lamprey :( . Sometimes you win and sometime you lose.
  5. I hated the way people stacked up like cordwood there :mad:

    Now maybe the fish and fishermen will spread out... ;)

    Ron is right though looks like one good replaced with one bad ...
  6. Dingo


    yes, the fish will spread out, but, into mostly private property. Hopefully those without ethics won't cause more posting of property above the former dam.
  7. Hey Joel, they do get above the dam but alot more will go up and will be more spread out.
    I have a question. Do the people that own property own the river too? I used to fish the upper Delaware years ago and drifted and fished the whole river. As long as you stayed below the high water mark you could fish any part of the river even if it ran through private property. Just wondering.....JIM
  8. I always thought if you were actually in the water, you weren't on private property.

    What will allowing the sea lampreys up that far do to the river?

    Now I just need the Gates Mill dam to collapse so the fish can make it up to the South Chagrin. There are some great smallie holes that I know would holds a lot of steelies if they could just get up that far.
  9. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    The dam was gonna go, one way or another. City council declared the dam situation an "emergency" in October. The downstream side of the dam was scoured out and the upstream side had thousands of tons of sediment pressing against it. To the present time, I think the Daniels Park Dam Project is (or was) still in the assessment phase. Time to re-assess. I'm kind of anxious to see what it looks like once the river comes down.
  10. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    If you are on the (navigable) water, you're ok, but the stream bed can be private property. There is some room to spread out on Metroparks property along River Road. As far as sea lampreys go, Painesville dam (which had a lamprey-resistant chute at one time, I think) has been non-functioning for a long time and is just about completely gone now. Much lamprey control is done chemically now, although I don't know if either the Chagrin or the Grand are treated.
  11. The adjacent landowner also owns the streambed to the center of the stream but not the water. He owns the complete bed if his property spans both sides of the river. You can float through his domain without problems as long as the bottom of the craft does not touch bottom. You are tresspassing if you step (or fall :D :D ) out of the craft and contact the bottom of the stream.
    Many prior discussions on this subject in the past. Guess we should make a permanent article on this and have it ready to post.
  12. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

    Anyone have pics? :D
  13. Dingo


    In Ohio, if you own property on a river, you own the land under the river (to the center) as well. The only way to legally fish a river bordered by private property is to access the river at a public access point, then enter the private area without exiting the watercraft. Some have debated if you are trespassing or not when anchored in private property (where you are sort of touching the private property), but I haven't heard a ruling on this one.

    In the past (1970s/1980s), I never had an issue with private property, since there weren't a lot of people accessing the local rivers in the fall or winter. Now that more folks are around, the litter left and trails cut by the masses have caused some to post their property.

    It's really too bad that we don't have stream access rights like other states. I head to Wisconsin each spring for small stream trout fishing, and enjoy the right to fish nearly every mile of stream.
  14. Rain, melting snow prove too much for Daniels Park facility

    The weekend's storm event likely will render moot the current discussions over what to do with the low-head dam at Willoughby's Daniels Park.

    The hydraulics caused by the heavy surge of snow melt run-off and rain have breached the dam's concrete structure.

    It was believed to be damaged at least as early as Friday, the same day the city closed the park temporarily due to high water.

    Willoughby Mayor David E. Anderson said the city notified the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on Sunday, telling the state that city officials did not believe any downstream flooding danger existed because of the dam's loss.

    "It's incredible," Anderson said. "For all intents and purposes, the dam appears to be gone, but we have no idea what the impact will be until after the water goes down."

    ODNR has jurisdiction over most dams in Ohio, though this dam did not meet the requirements of the Ohio Division of Water's dam safety unit, said Jane Beathard, department spokeswoman.

    Under Ohio law, a dam must be at least 6 feet high to fall within the department's jurisdiction, Beathard said.

    "The dam in Willoughby did not meet this criteria, though it was of concern to our wildlife and watercraft divisions," Beathard said.

    But the city did not believe any evacuation order was required, said Angelo Tomaselli, Willoughby's Public Services Director, noting that the river "is flowing good."

    Anderson also said the city cordoned off the west concrete retention wall, where people frequently stood to view the dam and, often, the anglers who fished at its base.

    "We want to make sure that the wall isn't being undercut by the current," Anderson said.

    One other potential consequence for the dam's loss is a change in downstream erosion, though it is not known what impact - if any - a new flow pattern may have on the highly erodable shale bank located along the stream's west bank, and downstream from the park.

    For this and other possible changes the city will be speaking with its engineer, CT Consultants, both Anderson and Tomaselli said.

    Anderson said the city will continue to monitor the situation, and the police department will check to ensure that people are observing the yellow tape barrier.

    Even so, when the park reopened Sunday, throngs of people stopped by to see what had occurred.

    That view included a new look to the upper end of what once was the pool formed by the dam.

    Now, several piling-like structures jut up.

    These structures may have been pilings from the original water intake system, but were covered by water or silt, Anderson said.

    And just up from the Route 84 bridge at the mouth of the East Branch of the Chagrin River, where it enters the main stream, a series of rapids now exists. This points to a lowering of the main river at that juncture.

    The Daniels Park dam was originally built to create a water supply pool for the city. It no longer serves that purpose.

    However, the low-head dam was the scene of several boating-related fatalities, as people would try to float on the river during high water and pass over the structure's top.

    But the dam created a vortex of current and would suck down the passing vessels, trapping the occupants underneath the water.

    For this reason, Willoughby was mulling the dam's removal - a position favored by the Ohio Division of Watercraft.

    Still, the watercraft division remains concerned that any remaining portion of the dam may still pose a hazard to canoeists and kayakers.

    "Certainly, things like reinforcing steel rebar and the foundation could present a hazard, along with any increased sedimentation flowing downstream, which would need to be dredged," said Ken Alvey, chief of the watercraft division.

    "That's always an issue on the Chagrin River."

    Yet the dam did serve some unexpected purposes. It largely contained any further upstream migration of spawning steelhead trout each winter and spring.

    This blockage made it easier for anglers to get to them.

    Also, the dam effectively blockaded any upstream movement of spawning sea lamprey eels, an invasive predatory species that feeds on Lake Erie fish, but needs a clean habitat such as the upper Chagrin River.

    For state fisheries biologists, the breach will make it difficult to control that species on the river.

    "There are portions of the upper Chagrin which provide ideal habitat for sea lamprey," said Kevin Kayle, supervisor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife's Fairport Harbor Fisheries Research Station.

    "We also are concerned that it could complicate things for native lamprey species which are threatened already, but which do not pose a threat to sport fish."

    Kayle said the state is likewise concerned that with the allowance of upstream movement of steelhead, anglers will begin trespassing on private property.

    "It certainly will mean a lot more fish moving up beyond Daniels Park dam," Kayle said. "And with the dam's breach and any resulting silting in of the hole, we could actually lose a really good fishing spot."
  15. Elamenohpee

    Elamenohpee Banned

    It can't get no goner than that :)
  16. WOW.......that's simply amazing! I am glad that nobody was hurt when the dam went. Does anybody have pictures of what the structure looked like before it washed away?!?!?
  17. Dingo



    The first two pretty much sum things up. Keep in mind that the pictures were probably taken from a wall looking down on the dam (before pictures), making it appear smaller than it was. I would compare it to the dam at rte 82 on the 'hoga (big concrete thingy), where some, but not all, steelehead make it over.
  18. There is talk on TV now that the mouth of the river may need to be dredged and that Federal funds may be available for same [​IMG]
  19. tpet96

    tpet96 Banned

    Should be interesting for the steelie runs in the future.