This topic contains 45 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  River Rat 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #21623

    River Rat
    Member

    Does anyone know the status of the Spirit River Dam? The water appears to have been down all summer. I have heard that the Dam needs repairs but that the owner (Wi Valley Improvement ???) is unwilling to repair it. Of course this is all rumor and I have no idea what’s actually really going on. Can anyone tell me? Thanks!!!!

    #32222

    KEN
    Participant

    River Rat,
    Try contacting Cheryl at – πŸ™‚

    Cheryl Laatsch
    Statewide FERC Coordinator – Watershed Bureau
    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
    N7225 Highway 28, Horicon WI 53032
    Phone: 920-387-7869
    Fax: 920-387-7888
    Cheryl.laatsch@wisconsin.gov

    She could probably get the latest info on what`s happening to The Spirit Flowage. 😯

    #32223

    KEN
    Participant

    River Rat
    If you , or anyone, hears updated information concerning The Spirit Flowage Dam, please post on this message board.

    Thanks πŸ˜‰

    #32224

    River Rat
    Member

    I posted this on Jed’s fishing forum here on the Leader message boards. It was in response to his post about information on the delays to dam repair as a result of high costs. I have done a bit of research on this situation too. I’m only in Tomahawk sporadically. Is there any kind of local grass root effort being done to put pressure on Wisconsin Valley Improvement (WVIC) to get to work on this? If there’s a dry year next year the flowage could be a stream bed, and that’s not an exaggeration.

    @River Rat wrote:

    Remember the recent, and current, “6 feet below full” restriction is the maximum water level that can be achieved on the flowage at any given time. The dam is required to maintain a constant minimum outflow too. They can’t simply close the dam to maintain 6 feet low.

    What this means is there has to be at least as much rain coming/draining into the flowage as there is outflow going out. If there isn’t enough rain to make-up for the minimum maintained outflow the water level will drop. We were lucky this year and had quite a bit of rain, enough to keep the water level high enough for boating, fishing, etc. If it’s a dry year the level could go far lower than 6 feet down. Conceivably down to river bed only. That would be devastating to the fishery and the wildlife that have come to depend on the flowage.

    WVIC has an obligation to it’s corporate partners, BUT they ALSO have an obligation to the public who agreed to let WVIC flood their land. They also have an obligation to the wildlife and the habitat that has been created by the flowage. By delaying this project they are failing to meet those obligations in my opinion.

    #32225

    Old Scout
    Participant

    Went past the dam today and there were some guys that appeared to be working on the problem area. Not sure what they were doing but perhaps it is a start.

    Over the past roughly 60 years I can recall it being drawn down close to the channel several times when there was not enough rain or snow runoff to maintain normal flow. It is almost always drawn down in the winter to accommodate the spring runoff and if it wasn’t for the ice cover you would see it is down close to the channel. Fortunately it is a fairly small reservoir and receives water from a fairly large area and fills up quickly.

    #32226

    River Rat
    Member

    That is good news that workers have appeared, thanks for the update.

    I’m very familiar with the periodic wintertime drawdown, I’ve also been witnessing it for decades, although only about 1/2 as many as your 60 πŸ™‚

    The key words here are “periodic” and “wintertime.” A sustained drawdown occurring with warm summertime water is much different, much more devastating on the fishery.

    The upper stretches of the flowage are where we see winter periodic dawn down to the channel bed. The lower section has always held water above that, even in winter. Now that portion is in jeopardy as well.

    The situation should be of concern to everyone who cares about fishing, hunting, and the environment. A private company should not be able to destroy habitat held in public trust at whim.

    #32227

    KEN
    Participant

    I think the powers in charge have just been dragging their feet on the dam issue too long.

    It`s been going on for three years now. πŸ™„

    Consistent low water levels equals lower property values. 😯 BUT, property taxes keep going up! πŸ™

    #32228

    Old Scout
    Participant

    Back in the late 50’s I remember a friend and I walking along the beach along the highway by the mill picking up lost fishing lures off the stumps. We were able to do that several times. Normally that is quite deep there (deep enough to sink a school bus out of sight about 10 years or so back and the fire dept. divers were standing on the roof and were up to their neck in the water) but it would be down almost to the main channel. I haven’t seen it like that in many years and hope not to see it that way again.

    #32229

    KEN
    Participant

    I drove by the dam last Tuesday and noticed a bass boat with two guys in the it right below the dam.
    😯

    I didn`t know boats were allowed to go right up to the bottom of the dam? πŸ˜•

    #32230

    KEN
    Participant

    With all this rain the Tomahawk area has had these past few months, πŸ˜•

    Imagine how great The Spirit would be looking, 😯

    IF the dam would have been repaired!!!! πŸ˜₯

    #32231

    KEN
    Participant

    “Went past the dam today and there were some guys that appeared to be working on the problem area. Not sure what they were doing but perhaps it is a start.”

    Old Scout , have you, or anyone, seen any work related activity going on at the dam since your last post? ❓

    #32232

    Old Scout
    Participant

    Ken, haven’t seen anybody around since that one day. Maybe they were just thinking about it and are putting it off again.

    #32233

    KEN
    Participant

    Right now , (things could change drastically), it looks like an early Spring!

    Maybe they`ll get going on the work on the dam soon, and get it over with!

    #32234

    River Rat
    Member

    Any further information or observations would be greatly appreciated! I’d hate to see this beautiful flowage destroyed.

    #32235

    KEN
    Participant

    I contacted the State yesterday.

    I inquired as to when work would begin on the Spirit Dam repair.

    Below is the response ……………………


    “We are expecting a permit application to arrive in Mid March. The permit process may include a public notice and comment period.”

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