SAINT PAUL, MINN. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is proposing to implement fish passage at Drayton Dam as a mitigation feature for the proposed Fargo, N.D./Moorhead, Minn., Metropolitan flood risk management project. The flood risk management project could potentially impact fish of the Red River of the North, and fish passage at Drayton has been proposed to reduce potential adverse effects.
The state and federal agencies working together on this project believe that Drayton Dam may be adversely affecting aquatic life in the Red by blocking the ability of fish to migrate upstream. To address this, the Corps' St. Paul District has been working with the city of Drayton, N.D; the North Dakota Game and Fish Department; the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and the Fargo-Moorhead project sponsors, which include the cities of Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., to study options for fish passage at this dam. After thorough discussion with these groups, a tentative plan to construct new rock rapids 300 feet upstream of the existing dam and removing the existing dam was selected.
An Environmental Assessment and Section 404(b)(1) evaluation have been prepared by the St. Paul District and are available for public review and comment for a period of 30 days. The review period runs from Dec. 7, 2012, thru Jan. 7, 2013. A copy of these documents can be obtained by contacting the St. Paul District or by visiting the district website at: www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
The Section 404(b)(1) evaluation is being distributed as part of this document in lieu of a separate Section 404 public notice. Anyone may request a public hearing on this project. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within 15 working days of the date of this notice, received no later than Dec. 28, 2012. The request must clearly state the interest that the project would affect and how the project would affect that interest. All requests for a hearing and comments on the document will become an official part of the project file and will be available for public examination.
Please address all correspondence on this project to Terry Birkenstock, Deputy Chief, Regional Planning and Environment Division North, St. Paul District, Corps of Engineers, 180 Fifth Street East, Suite 700, St. Paul, MN 55101-1678. For more information, contact Elliott Stefanik, Corps’ environmental specialist, at 651-290-5260.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, serves the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. It contributes around $175 million to the five-state district economy. The 700 employees work at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil