Blackberry Creek Dam Removal Progress —
March 24, 2012

To play catch up, you can read the past progress reports here.

Over the last 10 days there’s been a lot of activity on the other side of the Fox River where all the prep work is continuing for the removal of the Blackberry Creek Dam. Lots of chainsaws running and wood chippers working away. Heavy equipment can be heard moving around. A large chunk of land is being cleared all along the creek.

I’ve decided to wander over to the construction site every week to 10 days in order to track the progress. Going every day is a lot like sitting around watching grass grow. I like to be able to show bigger leaps in the work progression.

One of the things I was told was that as much of the silt as possible is going to get removed from behind the dam first. I was also told that the amount of silt behind the dam will raise an eight acre parcel of land by another foot. That’s a lot of silt.

The work to achieve that is progressing. A rock road has to be constructed along the creek in order to keep equipment from sinking into the ground.

They are slowly making their way around.

But also have a long way to go.

In some areas it’s hard to tell how they’re going to deal with all the silt.

About 300 yards up stream of the dam the pool of the dam ends. I’ve got into the creek at this point and have waded almost a mile further up stream. There were virtually no fish here to be caught and the creek bed is no different than all of the other creeks in the area, rock and gravel.

You can bet I’ll be up here looking for fish migrations when the dam gets removed and the fish start to move.

The dam is supposedly eight feet tall, but I think it’s another foot or two higher than that. With the water level flowing normal for now, there’s barely a foot of water flowing through over all the silt all the way up to the dam. That means in that short 300 yard stretch behind the dam, the creek bed drops 10 feet over that 300 yards. It will be interesting to see what the shoreline will wind up looking like once this project is complete. On one side, it sure looks like it’s going to be a natural limestone wall.

I have a feeling this stretch is going to wind up looking a lot like Waubonsie Creek in Oswego off of Route 25. That creek plunges down pretty quickly to get to Fox River level and there’s a nice natural limestone wall that lines the creek. I’m still hoping they don’t stair step the pools as drastically as they did on Waubonsie. Just let the creek find it’s old bottom and leave it at that.

It will be interesting to see what they find buried in all that silt. Over the past 175 years there are probably all kinds of things that have been preserved down there. Remnants of the past are already showing up that were once buried under the water.

I’m sure they’re going to find a lot more.

9 thoughts on “Blackberry Creek Dam Removal Progress —
March 24, 2012

  1. Pingback: Blackberry Creek Dam Removal Progress — March 24, 2012 | | Fish Habitat |

  2. Ken G Post author

    I am intrigued by that one wall with the limestone.

    Most people think after a dam is removed that it’s going to look like hell for years. One spring a dam was breached on the Fox and all the silt was revealed along the shores. Looked like hell. By the end of summer there were plants growing on it 3-5 feet tall and too thick to walk through. Looked like they had been there forever.

  3. Fish_Hunter224

    Hey Ken I ran into on Windy City last yr and you actually helped and inspired me with your post if you can PM message me on windy I would like to plan a trip out on your neck of the woods and will be staying at Mallard Bend Campground in sheridan IL maybe we can meet but any advice would be highly appreciated


    348,480 cubic feet of silt! That is crazy! Where do they plan on putting it?

    This damn removal is neat to follow – it sort of gives me a glimpse of what to expect when they remove a large section of the Hoffman Dam in Riverside.

    I wonder not only “what” they will find, but “who” they will find? Think this Hoffa thing might finally be put to rest? HA!

    1. Ken G Post author

      When you stand looking down on it, it’s hard to imagine all that silt. But I guess it is 10 feet thick in some parts, maybe 50 feet wide in some spots.

      I was busy the years they removed the South Batavia dam and the one at North Ave. on the south side of Aurora. Would have liked to do the same to those. This is so close it’s easy.

      Hoffman might be a little different. It’s not that high. In that area, who knows who’s down there.

      1. BrookfieldAngler

        Hoffman isn’t as high (6′), but it’s very long at 240′. They are only cutting out about 110′ of it, though.

        I would be shocked if they didn’t find at least one body there

        1. Ken G Post author

          The Kankakee dam is where you’ll find bodies. Up stream was Al Capone’s hide away right on the river. My aunt lives just down stream from it. Back then, nobody went down that way.

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