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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Reconnecting the Red River
(pg 3 of 5)

Now the DNR is working with local communities to "reconnect the Red" and thereby restore lake sturgeon, enhance other fish populations, and not incidentally, make the river a safer place to fish and boat.

How is this being accomplished? For several years, the DNR's Stream Habitat Program has been removing low-head dams or modifying dams by filling the downstream side with a long ramp composed of thousands of tons of boulders to replace the sheer drop with a long rapids. The artificial rapids is gradual enough it can be successfully navigated by fish swimming upstream. It even provides an exciting run for skilled canoeists.

In the case of the Midtown Dam in Fargo, an artificial rapids replaced a hazardous drop that had been responsible for more than a dozen drownings. The photos at left show the river before dam removal (top) and after removal (bottom).

As of 2003, at least 10 dams have been removed or modified on the Red, Otter Tail, Pelican, Roseau, and Red Lake rivers, opening hundreds of miles of stream to migrating fish.

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