Lower Russian River Dams Are Coming Out

Wednesday September 25, 2013 Guerneville, CA.

The Vacation Beach dam was supposed to come out today……..But

When I got myself out of bed this morning and checked the weather report for Jenner, it said windy, windy day,…………………so.

Seemed like a good day to go down to Petaluma to help Mary with her computer problems, so I called and no answer, but a few minutes later she called back and she would be home, so I was on my way.

I had heard that they were going to take the lower Russian river dams out today, so I thought I’d stop by the lowest one, Vacation Beach dam and see how there were doing as it was on the way.

When I got there this was the view I saw up the river from the dam.upriver


I was looking for John as I knew him, but where was he? Suddenly he came up from the water, obviously a river rat.waterboy


I talked with him a bit and he introduced me to the boss guy and I was in.

This is a view of the spill way and the fish ladderdamflow


A closer view of the fish ladder.fishladder


They had just removed some guard boards in this picture getting ready to take some of the main dam boards out next.damwork


Talking to the head guy, he said they couldn’t get the big crane they usually get as it was already in use somewhere else. The problem is this crane had outriggers that could not be used on the bridge part of the dam, so they couldn’t remove the spillway boards which they had to do to let the water down, so he didn’t know quite if they were going to be able to accomplish their task or not.

See those out riggers on the side of the truck, they can’t be used on the bridge part of the dam.outriggers


Here’s a picture of them hoisting some of the main boards that they could get to on the other side.crane


The two river rats in the water hook it all up and the crane takes the boards out.waterboys2


Lifting a board out with the crane.hookup


After they did that, I talked with John a little more and he said the water was real cold and he was freezing, more sun would sure be appreciated. He said he had a wet suit but they are cumbersome to use in the water for this task.

So, I left them to their task and continued on down to Petaluma to help Mary with her computer. Of course, it wouldn’t act up while I was there, so I went though it all and gave her some tips on what to look for if it causes any more problems. I did clean it up a bit.  We visited some and then I went on home, stopping back at the dam to see how it went.

When I got to the dam, no one was there and the dam was still in. I guess they are going to have to get another crane to do the job tomorrow.

As you can see the dam is still in.damin


So, the Vacation Beach dam comes out tomorrow and the boss said they were going to leave the dam at Guerneville in until after the weekend and take it out on Monday.

So, if they find the right crane, the dams will get out. The dams have to be at least dropped and not impounding any water by the first of October, so I’m sure they will figure out something.

Just as a note, the dam at Healdsburg has to come out around September 1 as the fish ladder isn’t acceptable to let big fish by and the two lower dams at Guerneville and Vacation Beach must be out by October first. The Sonoma county water agency’s dam up the river is a rubber blow up dam with good fish ladders and stays in most of the year, except when the water is high and debrie is coming down the river.

That’s the dam report.

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