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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Monday, November 2 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
The Undamming of Virginia

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L. Alan Weaver, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries works with federal, non-government and private partners to provide fish passage by removing impediments or constructing fishways. There are approximately 1,300 dams in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay watershed and at least 550 dams in Virginia’s Albemarle Sound drainage. When feasible, dam removal is preferred due to the additional benefits of stream restoration and boating safety improvements. Each project is unique, but there are several key steps that must be achieved, not always in order, for a removal project to be successful. Owner cooperation is a must and should be achieved as early as possible. It is common to hold community and local government meetings to advance projects with the intention of garnering neighbor and community cooperation, but sometimes only “informed consent” is a realistic goal. Complete engineering design is often needed to obtain permits; however, relatively simple removals may be permitted as designed by credentialed restoration staff. Holding pre-permit application site meetings with as many of the permitting agencies as possible can be invaluable. Early communication with the state historic preservation office can save time and money to develop historical mitigation plans, which are often necessary. Funding can be challenging but is usually not the limiting factor. Twenty dams have been removed in Virginia including four within the Albemarle Sound Drainage reopening over 400 miles. Monitoring fish community response is effective for confirming fish passage targets and bolstering support for future projects. Lessons learned from several Virginia dam removal projects will be highlighted.

Monday November 2, 2015 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
Windsor A

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