BARAGA COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced the draw down of the water level on an impoundment on the Net River will likely continue into 2023 following a partial dam failure in April of this year. The draw down of the 400-acre impoundment will allow the DNR to make repairs to the damaged area.
The dam is located on the south outlet of the Net River flooding in an area managed by the DNR. Corrosion of a water control structure in the middle of the dam caused a sinkhole to develop in April earlier this year. The DNR says the upstream and downstream embankments continued to retain water behind the impoundment as they are designed to do.
The dam was previously inspected in August of 2020 and was rated “fair”. The DNR says the partial failure of the dam poses no danger for humans downstream, fish, or wildlife. The DNR called the dam “low-risk” and says amount of water flowing through the structure is considered normal.
“We are working through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy process to minimize ecological impacts to the aquatic system, fisheries, wild rice resources and other values, while ensuring public safety,” said Bill Scullon, DNR wildlife field operations manager. “The water hasn’t come down much yet, but the public can expect the water to be drawn down this summer and will likely be down into 2023.”
The draw down will affect the boating access site in the area. The access site will likely either be unusable or limited to carry down only until the water level has dropped to historical riverbank width. The DNR says other nearby boating and fishing opportunities on the Net River corridor include Wide Waters and Snake Rapids.