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Mason City ponders removal of three dams on Winnebago River


This news story was published on December 13, 2015.
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Dam near 12th Street

Dam near 12th Street in Mason City

MASON CITY – City officials are seeking to reduce or remove altogether three dams on the Winnebago River in Mason City that have been known to cause problems and almost cost people their lives.

Presently, the city is seeking a $20,000 state grant for a dam mitigation study. City officials say that mitigating or removing low head dams would “increase safety and recreational opportunities”. They say the three low head dams on the Winnebago River in town are “known as safety hazards”. Removal of the three dams (versus mitigation) would be a larger undertaking and cost more, but would “significantly benefit the city”.

If the $20,000 grant is approved, the city would need to match, up to a total of $40,000.

Folks using the Winnebago River in town and encountering dams have from time to time encountered dangerous situations.  In April of this year, persons using kayaks became trapped at a dam on 12th Street.  Emergency responders were called to the scene to pull them to safety.

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3 Responses to Mason City ponders removal of three dams on Winnebago River

  1. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 14, 2015 at 8:01 am

    All those people have to do is use a little common sense. (To much to ask for). Everyone who uses the river knows those damns are there and should get off the river and portage around the damns.

  2. Avatar

    IowaBoy Reply Report comment

    December 13, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    WTH? I agree that these dams make good fishing areas and I don’t see any harm by keeping them or any gain by removing them. Once again, easy to spend other people’s money. DAM IT!

  3. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    December 13, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    How is removing the dams, going to benefit the city. The area below the dams is a stopping area for fish, giving fishermen a good place to catch fish. When the dams are removed, there will be no pools to fish in. What are the other two dams that people are dying to get caught on.