Effects of Dam Removal on Dead Lake, Chipola River, Florida

Removal of Dead Lake Dam in December 1987 reduced low pool elevation an additional 1.3 m, resulting in approximately 85 percent bottom exposure. Increased fluctuation provided short-term benefits to the sport fish community in the form of strong largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) year classes and improved water quality. Percent composition of dominant sport fish changed little after dam removal, but total fish species observed increased from 34 to 61 after dam removal. Increased elevation in the Apalachicola River resulted in reduced flow and depressed dissolved oxygen levels in Dead Lake. Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) have been observed in limited numbers above Dead Lake since removal of the dam.

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