State report recommends removal of Danville dams

DANVILLE – A state report looking into safety and environmental concerns over two eastern Illinois dams recommends the structures be dismantled.

The mayor of the city of Danville, which owns the dams, has sought that outcome for about a decade, after the drowning of a woman whose canoe capsized in churning water at the base of one of the low-head dams on the Vermilion River.

The cost would be paid for by the state, but The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported a final decision will be taken by the Danville City Council in mid-September.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said low-head dams are the most dangerous type and have been dubbed “drowning machines.”

Local fishermen oppose the dams’ removal, arguing such a step would harm fishing in pools upstream from the structures.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com