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Dam removal to restore anadromous fishery

Jan. 30, 2015--For the first time since the American Revolution, resident and anadromous fish will be able to spawn and swim freely from tidewater to freshwater in the Piedmont Basin along the White Clay Creek National Wild and Scenic River near the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

On Dec. 4, 2014, hydrologists and historians from UD’s School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) worked with a contractor to breach and remove 40 feet of the historic Byrnes Mill Dam at Delaware Park. This is the first recorded dam removal for fish passage in the state of Delaware.

“The deconstruction of this historic dam will reopen close to four miles of the national wild and scenic river for spawning by domestic and anadromous fish such as the striped bass, American shad, and river herring," said Gerald Kauffman, principal investigator on the project and project director at the Water Resources Agency (WRA), a unit of SPPA's Institute for Public Administration.

The removal connects 3.5 miles of the White Clay Creek National Wild and Scenic River to the tidal Christina and Delaware Rivers. This is the first of seven planned dam removals along the creek between sea level and the Delaware-Pennsylvania state line.