Downing Harvell Dam opens up 127 miles of Virginia’s Appomattox River

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

Today we hear from Albert Spells, our fisheries coordinator for Virginia, sharing his story about the recent demolition of the Harvell Dam and what it means for migratory fish.

Harvell Dam_GONE_AWeaver

Albert Spells, Virginia Fisheries Coordinator. Photo: USFWS Albert Spells, Virginia Fisheries Coordinator. Photo credit: USFWS

Wow! It has  been almost surreal to experience the Harvell Dam being removed in Petersburg, Virginia. It is a project I have worked on for nearly five years, and it is so gratifying to see the water flowing freely along this stretch of the Appomattox River.

Harvell Dam on the Appomattox River The Harvell Dam as it sat in the Appomattox River in Petersburg, Virginia. Photo credit: Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries/ Alan Weaver

Since 1930 the dam has been a clog in the free flow of the river, impeding fish and other aquatic wildlife from reaching their native habitats. There is even historical evidence that there has been a dam structure at or near the site…

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Author: rjbailey

"I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really, really well." - Andy Dwyer

One thought on “Downing Harvell Dam opens up 127 miles of Virginia’s Appomattox River”

  1. The news that the Appomattox is running free at Petersburg is very good news. As a member of the FERC hydro compliance staff in 1992, the Harvell Dam (Project 8657) landed on my desk for failure to comply with the environmental requirements (that was 22 years and 4 months ago). This has been a long time coming and is gratifying news. Fish are now passing the dam location – not in the manner envisioned in the project’s exemption’s requirements, but try as the FERC staff did, the exemptee couldn’t be persuaded to take the envisioned route to providing fish passage.

    Liked by 1 person

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