Plans to modify the Wing River Dam

Eric Altena, area fisheries manager with the DNR, presented ideas to the Hewitt City Council on modifications to the Wing River Dam that would create a swimming area, reduce erosion and allow fish to pass through.

by Trinity Gruenberg

After several years, discussion to revamp the Wing River Dam in Hewitt was brought to the city council.

Eric Altena, area fisheries manager with the DNR, and Deja Anton, district manager of the Todd County Soil and Water District, discussed removal or modification of the Wing River Dam at a March council meeting.

Altena explained that dams cause erosion, create safety hazards for navigation and swimming, impact fishing and increase the flood stage. Their plan is to work with the stream rather than against it.

The dam’s location next to Highway 210 and near Highway 71 along with residential streets pose complications with confinement.

Altena said this dam is not as bad as others he has seen. It’s a flow-through system with little storage capacity for a pool. . .

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