Update summer 2017: American shad have already returned to the Musconetcong River after the removal of Hughesville Dam! State wildlife biologist Pat Hamilton shared this “thrilling” news with NPR reporters – read the story – and then watch the video below of the dam coming down.
Dim the lights, turn up the music and help us celebrate the take-down of Hughesville Dam on the Musconetcong River in New Jersey! The entire dam removal took nearly three months, but you can watch the sped-up version here.
Removal of the 150-foot-long and 18-foot-tall dam in Pohatcong, NJ, is a major success for all who love and care about the mighty Musconetcong. A designated “National Wild and Scenic” river, the Musky flows for 42 miles through the state and is a popular place for fishing, boating and swimming. Hughesville is the fifth dam to be removed as part of a larger partner-based effort to restore the Musky to a free-flowing state.
Removal of the dam is projected to provide $2.5 million in economic benefits – including increased access for sportfishing – and reduce flood risk to nearby communities. The project was supported by many partners and funded largely by the USFWS through the Department of the Interior (DOI) under the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.
In September 2016, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell toured the project, calling it a “model for collaborative conservation,” and joined a roundtable discussion about dam removals. Since completion of the dam removal, volunteers with the Musconetcong Watershed Association have helped restore the site by planting trees along the river banks to serve as a buffer and help keep the water clean.
Congrats to all the people and partners involved in making this project a success!