The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, along with project partners Erie County and New York Department of Environmental Conservation, have approved the selected plan for the Springville Dam Ecosystem Restoration Project, August 2015, with the goal of opening 70 miles of high quality spawning of the Cattaraugus Creek upstream of the dam to native fish species, while continuing to block invasive species.
This is an important milestone for the project because it allows the study team to move forward with the engineering and design phase to begin in earnest as soon as the Project Partnership Agreement is completed. It is anticipated that construction will begin the summer of 2018.
This selected plan includes lowering a portion of the existing 182 foot long, 38 ft high concrete dam spillway to approximately 13 ft high to serve as a barrier to sea lamprey (invasive species), construction of a rock riffle ramp (fish ladder) and seasonal trapping and sorting operation to be managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"With this Project, we are protecting and improving our environmental heritage in the Cattaraugus Creek watershed, enhancing the ecosystem for native fish by opening up miles of new spawning areas but preventing the spread of invasive and destructive sea lampreys. Erie County is proud to partner with the DEC and the Army Corps of Engineers on this vital Project," said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.
“This project is a fine example how local, state, and federal partners can productively collaborate and cooperate in the interest of enhancing our natural environment,” said LTC Karl Jansen, USACE Buffalo District commander. “Once completed, this project will expand fish habitat, restore more natural sediment transport, and will block invasive sea lamprey spawning migration to the benefit of the Cattaraugus Creek watershed and the Great Lakes; restoring these precious natural resources also enables a strong economy and our national security.”
Release no. 15-021