Brown's Mill Dam Removal
With funding from the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative and State Wildlife Grants, TWRA is removing its first dam - the remnants of the Brown’s Mill dam on the East Fork of the Stone’s River. Removing this dam will result in 25 miles of free flowing river. TWRA will also be creating a river access at this point on the river.
The mission of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is to preserve, conserve, manage, protect, and enhance the fish and wildlife of the state and their habitats for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the citizens of Tennessee and its visitors. The Agency fosters the safe use of the state’s waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access. Improving aquatic habitat by removing dangerous obstructions from our streams and creating river access is an important part of this mission.
View more information about the removal of Brown's Mill Dam
Image right: © Burton Dye 2005
Stream connectivity means free flowing streams. Free flowing streams allow fish and other aquatic life to move both upstream and downstream. This is very important to fish species that need to migrate to spawn and to mussels that require particular species of fish hosts to reproduce. Part of restoring stream connectivity is the removal of stream obstructions such as lowhead dams. These are dams such as mill dams found on many streams throughout Tennessee. Unobstructed streams are also very important for the recreational use of our creeks and rivers. Lowhead dams are very dangerous to paddlers. Many people have drowned by getting caught in the hydraulic undertow of these dams. TWRA has started removing some of these obstructions if they meet the following criteria:
- The property owner is agreeable.
- Paddling safety can be improved.
- River ecology can be improved.
- Funding is available.
- There is support from the local watershed association and public.
- The dam no longer serves its original purpose.