James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 11.34'
Flow: 37300 cfps

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  • All trails open and in good shape except Poop Loop. Poop Loop is still very wet and could use another day to dry out.

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High Tide: 7:06am
Low Tide: 2:24pm

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Posted In: Fishing, Paddling

After 80 years, the Appomattox River flows free again

Andy Thompson

July 28, 2014 8:45am
An excavator with a special "concrete muncher" attachment went to work on the Harvell Dam two weeks ago.

An excavator with a special “concrete muncher” attachment went to work on the Harvell Dam two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago I posted some pictures of work progressing on the removal of the Harvell Dam. At that time a “concrete muncher” was munching away on a section of dam, but the river was so low from lack of rain that no water was flowing through the growing breach.

Well, last Wednesday the construction crew broke all the way through, and the Appomattox River flowed freely in this area where it forms the border between Colonial Heights and Petersburg for the first time in over 80 years. As Alan Weaver, the fish passage coordinator for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, wrote in an email: “A River Runs Through It. They opened up the north end late yesterday afternoon. They will now just be working their way south out of the river and doing the shoreline work.”

Click here to see what this means for anadromous fish on the Appomattox. And here to see what the dam looked like before removal proceedings began.

A river, the Appomattox, runs through the Harvell Dam.

A river, the Appomattox, runs through the old Harvell Dam.





About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?