Public workshop planned to discuss potential dam removal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 27, 2021) — The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will lead a community discussion Aug. 3 concerning potential options to address the aging Great Crossing Dam near Georgetown.

The event is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Great Crossing High School, 120 Betsy Way, Georgetown. It will be an opportunity to meet officials from the department as well as other entities, ask questions and provide feedback.

The dam is located on the North Fork of Elkhorn Creek. It is a low-head dam that creates a back current at its base that can trap swimmers or boaters underneath the water.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, which owns the Great Crossing Dam, is considering removal of the structure to improve safety for paddlers. Taking out the dam would also improve water quality and restore the natural flow of the creek for fish and other aquatic animals.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed a century-old dam from the main stem of Elkhorn Creek near Frankfort. High water afterward helped clear accumulated sediment from the creek bed and dramatically increased safety and use by paddlers who no longer had to portage the dam.

A study commissioned by the Scott County government found the Great Crossing Dam has some structural issues and maintenance needs, but is not in immediate danger of failing. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has no funding available for dam repairs.

Department officials are seeking input from all interested persons at the meeting.

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