Yesterday, I stopped by the Brownville Dam on the Green River inside the edge
of Mammoth Cave Nat'l Park. The dam is completely removed. IMHO this is great
news. That removal has been talked about for decades and I am sure volumes of
studies have been made. But, late last year the dam begin to fail on the side
of the old mud plugged lock. For safety reasons the dam had to be removed fast
before a sudden huge failure, maybe hurting someone. This spring the project
began and yesterday was the first chance I have had to see it. The old dam
backed up water 17 miles and the difference in water levels above and below was
maybe 4-6 ft.
The dam is gone and only a small rapid is present in the low water conditions.
I was only there a short time. Some concrete from the dam was piled up
downstream on the opposite bank and that was about all I saw from the old dam.
Heavy equipment was on site constructing a gravel parking lot.
This has the potential to open up low levels of the cave for exploration. Dig
out your wetsuits.
And, two, this will help the mussel population in Green River, already the
location of some of the rarest mussels in the world. We may join an Owensboro
Sierra Club outing this coming Sat. at Munsfordville studying Mussels, with a
PhD mussels specialist.
Preston ForsytheBrowder, KY
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