North River Valley Park Dam

For those who are not familiar with this dam mitigation project, there is a "boater" channel (river left) and a "fish passage" channel (river right). The dam could not be removed, because it is required for infiltration of the city's water wells. As shown in the drone view, considerable right river bank work also took place improving river access.

River/Stream: South Skunk River

Location: Ames, Story County
        Latitude: 42.037356
        Longitude: -93.597997
        Click here to view an aerial map of the dam.

Built: 1983. Mitigation work began 2018 and completed in 2020.

Owner: City of Ames

Height: 6 feet

Length: 91 feet

Hazards: urban, usage

Warning Signs: adequate

Portage: good trail on river right

Comments: In 2009 Iowa Whitewater Coalition pledged $1,000 to help the city mitigate public safety hazards at this dam.

Bids for the project were first due on Jan 3, 2018 with construction to begin that spring, but only one bid was received and it was over budget.

The project was then rebid, and a contract awarded with a proposed a start date of early August, and an anticipated completion date of late October (2018). The contractor needed to work while stream flows were low (below ~200-250cfs), and (until summer 2020) that existed for only a few weeks at a time - when they started on Aug 6 (2018), late that winter until the ice went out in March (2019), and again early in August (2019). The boater channel had just begun taking shape mid-September when the river came up and the contractor pulled out.

Drone view of the mitigated dam at very low flow

Drone view of the mitigated dam at very low flow

Pre-mitigation archive photos