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PDTRA and Swift County SWCD are getting things done for the Pomme de Terre Watershed as a result of locally-led planning, fund acquisition, and project work.

A dam was constructed on Drywood Creek in 1972 and failed in 1997. This failure left a non-functioning structure pushing the creek around the left and right abutments, resulting in serious bank failure and erosion issues. The perpetual erosion of sediment here is carried directly into the Pomme de Terre River and to its outlet at Marsh Lake, an area which is continuously turbid from sedimentation.

For the last three years this project has been a priority for PDTRA to eliminate a large source of sedimentation in the watershed. Ultimately this project will improve water quality and connectivity of Artichoke Lake, Drywood Creek, and the Pomme de Terre River. PDTRA has been able to secure the funds necessary to complete this project through BWSR Clean Water Funds and a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). From there it was a waiting game for the perfect timing and weather conditions.

August 10th, 2017 was the day the project finally broke ground.

The dam was almost completely taken out before noon.

There is still work to be done in completing the dam removal and it is only part one of the project. Along with the dam removal, the project also entails re-routing the creek’s flow back to its historic channel. Doing this will increase access to the floodplain, re-establish a functional meander pattern, and enhance in and near-channel habitat for aquatic and riparian species.

PDTRA hopes to watch this area return to a more natural and healthy state and highlight the the changes in an ecosystem, from dam installation to removal, providing improved connectivity, sustaining habitat, and enhanced outdoor recreation.

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