The old spillway was a straight concrete ramp pitched downhill at about a 35-degree angle. Designed in an age devoid of environmental concerns, this spillway system delivered varying volumes of water and hydraulic energy to the stream below it. During high runoff, the spillway blasted the small stream with a rush of whiter water, gouging soil and flushing the silt downstream. Environmentally, the old spillway was a disaster.

According to Bob Cowhig, this massive three month project consumed more than 5,000 yards of reinforced concrete. Large construction crews worked overtime to complete the new spillway, and (amazingly) brought the project to completion in less than two-thirds of the scheduled construction time! They knew that this was groundbreaking concept in spillway design, and they worked to make it both functional and attractive. Landscaping and fencing completed the aesthetics of the project. Good rainfall over the winter filled the lake, and the new spillway was fully active in the spring of 1999.

First appeared in Fly Fish America Magazine January 2000 issue.

Photos and article by BILL BYRD, Jr.     Read Bill Byrd’s ‘High Tech Dams’