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What a shame. I'm sure the hellbender would like the river back where it was before this stupid dam was there. Now they can't migrate up above that dam becausee they have no way to portage above it. It might actually benefit them to have the dam slowly erode and be allowed to travel up stream. I'm probablly only going to float the extreme upper NFOW from here on out. By the time this commercial outfit is done developing there probably won't be much ecology down there period.

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An exert from USFWS Recovery Outline of Hellbenders...

http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/amphibians/ozhe/pdf/ozheRecoveryOutline.pdf

a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its

habitat or range (Factor A) - The construction of several impoundments in the

1940s and 1950s in the upper White River destroyed potential Ozark Hellbender

habitat within inundated river reaches and downstream of the impoundments,

effectively isolating Ozark Hellbender populations. Ongoing adverse effects from

impoundments include: isolation of the Bryant Creek Ozark Hellbender

population from the North Fork of the White River, increased sediment and gravel

deposition upstream of reservoirs, and increased exposure to predatory fish

immediately upstream of impoundments.

Wouldn't designing a way for hellbenders to populate upstream reaches be important to USFWS as a way to improve genetic diversity within the NFOW?

While many hellbenders do not move much and may live under on rock their entire life they a few have been documented to move over 900 meters in one years, about the distance to the next riffle upstream (Nickerson and Mays, 1973).

https://ag.purdue.edu/fnr/discover/HerpetologyLab/Documents/Nickerson_StudyOzark.pdf

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I am sorry to hear that you were hurt going thru the opening. I am surprised that there are not warning signs alerting new folks to the danger. I think most people agree that the present situation is not best. The different points of view generally are whether to close the opening in the dam or to significantly widen or remove the dam. Interspersed are the folks that want a canoe portage and/or an opening that would allow migration of fish.

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I am sorry to hear that you were hurt going thru the opening. I am surprised that there are not warning signs alerting new folks to the danger. I think most people agree that the present situation is not best. The different points of view generally are whether to close the opening in the dam or to significantly widen or remove the dam. Interspersed are the folks that want a canoe portage and/or an opening that would allow migration of fish.

They have a sign and there was some caution tape around the opening as well.

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Justin,

Is your new access where all the gravel filled in usable now? Dawt Mill's ramp is a three foot drop now and it's tough as nails to winch a boat. Also, right behind your place is where I usually do the best for bigger brown's, but this year I haven't done as good. What's your thoughts?

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So do you think that is the only reason, or do the floods push them out? I'm sure they can hang in there and find places to hold, but didn't know what you thought. I'm not the expert, but I bet you know a lot more as far as what happens to those bigger browns all the sudden. I'm scratching my head.......wondering. Also, from what I can tell, most of the browns hold from Blair down to Dawt and rainbows hold up from Blair. Seems like River of Life always has a plentiful supply all the time. Do they stock right in front of there on purpose or is that just a normal spot they hold in and the MDC stocks?

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