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North West Michigan Streams and Rivers Reports and questions on Big Manistee, Bear Creek, Little Manistee, White, Pere Marquette, Big Sable, Platte, Betsie, Boardman, Jordan, Pine. Please do not reveal specific holes or runs.

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Old 10-06-2012, 11:36 AM
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Default Brown Bridge Dam failure

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Something bad happened there today. Not sure of all the details. My buddy lives right on the river, heading over there right now. Will update later.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:55 AM
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National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for the Boardman river until 5:45 PM Saturday
At 11:35 EDT TC Light & Power said the temp dam at Brown Bridge was in danger of failing
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:06 PM
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Im down here right now, looking good.


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Old 10-06-2012, 01:06 PM
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Here are some pics I took. My buddy lives right at Brown Bridge and it looks like his house will be flooded. River Rd is closed, best not to even venture down there. I wad just at Shumskys and it had finally reached there. I literally sick to my stomach right now. Horrible disaster.


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Old 10-06-2012, 01:25 PM
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Not familiar with that region, best wishes for those residents to be safe and rescue what they can before/if it goes.

Is there going to be a release of silt and mud from behind it like on the Betsie many years ago...is it an area where miles of habitat is in danger during this spawning run and for years to come?
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:35 PM
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Not familiar with that region, best wishes for those residents to be safe and rescue what they can before/if it goes.

Is there going to be a release of silt and mud from behind it like on the Betsie many years ago...is it an area where miles of habitat is in danger during this spawning run and for years to come?

This section is above Sabin & Keystone dam so there are no salmon or steelhead here.
There is a lot of rocks and gravel that will probably be adversely affected.
From the pics it looks to be quite high.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default River flooding

I have a place just above Shumsky Road. I just returned from watching the river rise at least 3 feet while I was there. (about an hour) When I left, the river was still rising, and may well go five feet over its normal level for this time of year. I will attend the 5:30 press conference at the Boardman River Nature Center. While I am about as far away from an engineer as you can get, I'd say this was an engineering failure somewhere. The property loss seems to be relatively low, yet there has been some serious flooding in at least a couple of houses. Now, I am worried about fish mortality, and the long-term effects of large amounts of silt in the river. A C.O. at Shumsky told me there are fisheries biologists on scene at the dam or what now passes as a dam and I would suspect they would be moving up and down River Road to assess the damage. This can not be good.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:38 PM
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Fish mortality indeed. I was talking with an engineer and approx. 12-20 feet of water was released in just four hours. This was supposed to take 20 days to drawn down. I suspect the middle river will be void of fish for a long time. This is when browns and brookies spawn, not this year.


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Old 10-06-2012, 04:10 PM
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The DNR had a press release today about a new dam removal program which I pasted in the fly fishing forum. There are lots of places where this disaster could be repeated. Best wishes to folks in the area and the wildlife, too.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Not good

I understand that they have now allowed those evacuated to return to their homes, but I would still be pretty leery of all that water. We've had a lot of rain, and the worst of the runoff won't hit the river till tomorrow.

Something about a hole in a temporary dam...it's never good when they play with dams.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:29 PM
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I tried to get to Kingsley taking Arbutus Rd. When I went they had the Garfield bridge closed. I had to back peddle to Kingsley via the Ranch Rudolph area via Knight Rd.

When I was rerouting along the Brown Bridge Quiet Area, there were quite a few cars parked at the overlooks along the quiet area. Not sure if affected property owners or just local gawkers.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:37 PM
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No everyone up there fine. It was people looking at the remnants of Brown Bridge Pond. It basically all gone.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:38 PM
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Default Dam failure

I spent the afternoon between Garfield and Beitner, checking bridges and stopped at my place a couple of times. This was surely a deadly blow to the middle river,and who knows how many fish will die and how this will influence future generations of fish. Of course, local politicos have assured us that all is safe, but I will be amazed if someone steps up and claims responsibility for such a poorly managed project. My take on the so-called "news conference"....people who should have known better didn't and we"ll see if they take the heat, or deflect it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:05 PM
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Are you guys that are implying fish will die basing this on a heavy sediment load clogging their gills? Otherwise, the pictures don't look much worse than a spring flood. Obviously, this will adversely affect spawning browns in the middle section of the river. Thankfully this wasn't during the summer, where warmer temps would have clearly wiped out a lot of fish.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:09 PM
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Default Dam failure.....

I've seen my share of spring floods, and this was not anywhere near a spring flood. This draw-down was supposed to be accomplished over a period of many days, carefully monitored, and judiciously recorded....but this happened in a matter of hours. It's a mess which could have been avoided.
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