Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Kletzsch Park Dam Fish Passage
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The Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture will construct a fish passage structure at the Kletzsch Dam in the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC). The fish passage structure will reestablish aquatic species connectivity in the Milwaukee Estuary AOC. Fish passage at the Kletzsch Dam has been identified as a management action for the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat beneficial use impairment in the Milwaukee Estuary AOC Remedial Action Plan Update for 2016.
The Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture (DPRC) will construct the Kletzsch Dam Fish Passage in order to reestablish aquatic species connectivity by removing the last barrier to the movement of native warm-water fish species, which includes but is not limited to lake sturgeon, walleye, northern pike, and other important game and non-game fish. The fishway will reestablish connectivity between Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee River Estuary, 25 miles of river, 29 miles of tributary, and 2,400 acres of wetlands upstream of the dam. This will provide access to spawning and nursery habitat generally lacking between the dam and Lake Michigan. It will also build upon significant investments in river restoration made upstream of the Kletzsch Park Dam in recent years including a fish passage facility at the Milwaukee River’s Theinsville Dam (river mile 20), the removal of the Milwaukee River’s North Avenue, Lime Kiln and Chair Factory Dams (river miles 3, 30, and 31 respectively), the Seminary Dam removal on Pigeon Creek, and elimination of numerous fish barrier culverts and other obstructions. The timing of the planned dam repairs and the overlook improvements presents a unique, limited opportunity to construct fish passage while addressing necessary maintenance. The DPRC hopes to take advantage of this opportunity by constructing a fishway that would be integrated with the dam and planned improvements including: a handicap accessible overlook; rehabilitation of the eroding streambank on the west side of the dam; and improved public access to the dam for viewing, shore fishing, and canoe/kayak launching and portaging. The Kletzsch Dam Fish Passage has been identified as a management action for the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat beneficial use impairment in the Milwaukee Estuary AOC Remedial Action Plan Update for 2016.
The Kletzsch Dam Fish Passage will address the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat BUI in two ways. First, the fish passage structure will enhance and improve aquatic habitat by improving lateral connectivity by connecting aquatic habitat to floodplain wetland with suitable hydroperiod from Lake Michigan to the tributaries and headwaters where opportunities exist. Second, the fish passage structure will improve aquatic habitat connectivity. This will be achieved by improving linear connectivity by restoring or enhancing fish and aquatic organism passage from lake Michigan to the tributaries and headwaters. Additionally, the structure will reconnect high quality habitat downstream of the Bridge Street Dam and Lepper Dam to the main stem rivers of the AOC in cases where that habitat is directly connected to the estuary. A list of the tasks and associated deliverables that must be completed for the project can be found in the Scope of Work.
Study design can be found in the referenced Scope of Work.
Run Project Summary Report
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Project Sub Type
Toxics and Areas of Concern
Reports and Documents
Q4 2017 Progress Report Kletzsch Dam Jan 2018 Quarterly Report
Kletzsch Dam Jan 2018 Quarterly Report
Milwaukee County Parks - Kletzsch Dam Fish Passage - Scope of Work
This document is the Scope of Work for the Kletzsch Dam Fish Passage Project.
The Official Internet site for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
101 S. Webster Street . PO Box 7921 . Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7921 . 608.266.2621