Project History

The South Toe River Site is located in Yancey County, North Carolina near Mount Mitchell. The U.S. Forest Service sought to remove an eight-foot dam on the river due to issues with upstream instability and public safety hazards. The timber dam was originally installed in the 1960s as a barrier to prevent non-game fish from accessing the upper reaches of the river in order to reduce competition for food sources for trout. Recent surveys indicated that the structure was no longer effective as barrier and was causing upstream aggradation. This aggradation was creating issues with river stability upstream of the structure. As the deteriorating structure also presented a safety hazard for the public, the Forest Service decided that the structure should be removed.

Removal of the dam required the stabilization of 220 feet of the South Toe River. Boulder run structures and a boulder W-weir were constructed to prevent a headward destabilization of the river profile. Wolf Creek Engineering provided design assistance and construction oversight for the dam removal and stream restoration work. Construction was performed by North State Environmental, Inc. and was completed in 2011.

After Restoration

Before Restoration

During Construction