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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bob Werner Can't Get a Dam Break

Bob Werner is the Rodney Dangerfield of Northampton County Council. He gets no respect. He was all alone in his vote against a lease for a centralized human services building. I think he is the sole Council member to vote against suing Executive Stoffa over the transportation contract at Gracedale. Last night, he couldn't even get his dam resolution through Council.

It is, quite literally, a dam resolution.

Werner, who represents the Easton area, opposes a Wildlands Conservancy proposal to remove two dams on the Lehigh River, one at the Forks of the Delaware and the Chain Dam upstream. According to the Wildlands, the removal of these dams would encourage shad to make their way up the Lehigh River, transforming Easton into the Shad Capital of the World.

In 1994, fish ladders were installed, but the shad won't go up them. They won't go up elevators at other locations, according to Werner.

So Wildlands wants to rip out the dams ($11 million) and construct a pumping station ($6 million) to keep the canal full of water after their own efforts have drained it.

"Government at its finest," wisecracked Council member Ken Kraft.

But Council tabled the resolution, 7-1, because Lamont McClure wants to hear from sportsmen and Tom Dietrich believes removal might alleviate flooding.

Bruce Gilbert was absent.


Anonymous said...

Ripping them out is a dam stupid idea but it would be great if we could get the canals back into more than rancid ditches.

Anonymous said...

It would be cool of you could kayak on the canal between Easton and Bethlehem. Now that would eb fun.

Anonymous said...

Those dams are a waste of tax payer dollars. Take them down and you'll have a lot more utilization of the river through rafting, boating, fishing, canoeing etc.

Anonymous said...

The canals will never be more than rancid ditches, and canoeing/kayaking in the canals is one of the more boring things you can do.

Anonymous said...

a mixture of many things might be the solution. instead of removing the dams dumping large rocks and boulders in front of the dams will create a ramp. the ramp would be a fast whitewater area but would mimic a naturally occuring river section. fish could move thru these areas and up stream without an issue. if we really want to make it interesting we could include the reintroduction of atlantic salmon into the lehigh. the project could be a joint effert between easton and bethlehem. having a small hatchery right on the lehigh would bring the salmon up the lehigh every year and after the number of fish grow in abundance would bring millions in cash into the valley. also creating a realestate boom along the lehigh.