Watertown Dam from the south bank of the Charles River
|Operator(s)||Department of Conservation and Recreation (Massachusetts)|
|Dam and spillways|
|Length||220 feet (67 m)|
|Total capacity||30 acre⋅ft (37,000 m3)|
|Catchment area||0.2 square miles (0.52 km2)|
The Watertown Dam spans the Charles River 980 feet (300 m) upstream from the Watertown Bridge near Watertown Square in Watertown, Massachusetts. The dam is located where the Charles River tidal estuary historically ended (the tides no longer reach this point because of the downstream Charles River Dam). Watertown Dam is of Concrete construction, a gravity dam. Its length is 220 feet (67 m). Its capacity is 30 acre feet (37,000 m3). Normal storage is 20 acre feet (25,000 m3). It drains an area of 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2).
The Charles River is an 80-mile-long (129 km) long river in eastern Massachusetts. From its source in Hopkinton the river flows in a northeasterly direction, traveling through 23 cities and towns before reaching the Atlantic Ocean at Boston. The Native-American name for the Charles River was Quinobequin, meaning "meandering".
The Watertown Bridge is a five-lane traffic bridge over the Charles River, carrying Rt. 16 and Galen Street. It connects Watertown Square on the north side and Watertown Yard on the south side of Watertown, Massachusetts. Pedestrian walkways line each side.
Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and is part of the Greater Boston area. The population was 31,915 in the 2010 census. Its neighborhoods include Bemis, Coolidge Square, East Watertown, Watertown Square, and the West End. It is one of thirteen Massachusetts municipalities that retain the title of “town” while functioning under state law as cities.
The history of the dam traces back to 1632 when construction of a fish weir was authorized. The current dam, maintained by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, dates from 1900. It is part of the Upper Charles River Reservation.
A weir or low head dam is a barrier across the width of a river that alters the flow characteristics of water and usually results in a change in the height of the river level. There are many designs of weir, but commonly water flows freely over the top of the weir crest before cascading down to a lower level.
The Upper Charles River Reservation is a Massachusetts state park encompassing portions of the banks of the Charles River between the Watertown Dam in Watertown and Riverdale Park in Dedham and the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. The park is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It includes land in the communities of Watertown, Waltham, Newton, Weston, Wellesley, Needham, Dedham, and Boston. Some of the Charles River Reservation Parkways also fall within the park boundaries.
The Watertown Dam is the second of numerous dams located along the length of the Charles River. The current earthen dam creates an obstacle for the river herring that run in the spring, but herring have long been harvested at this site. The Pequossette (one of the tribes of the Massachusett people) inserted stakes into the river then interwove brushwood to create a weir that would trap the herring as the tide went out.
Today, a fish ladder provides access to upstream spawning habitat as part of a system of fish passages that provide access up to river mile 20.The high concentrations of blueback herring and alewife below the dam in the spring make it a popular fishing spot for herring gulls, great black-backed gulls, great blue herons, night herons and cormorants.
The blueback herring or blueback shad is an anadromous species of herring from the east coast of North America, with a range from Nova Scotia to Florida. Blueback herring form schools and are believed to migrate offshore to overwinter near the bottom.
The alewife is an anadromous species of herring found in North America. It is one of the "typical" North American shads, attributed to the subgenus Pomolobus of the genus Alosa. As an adult it is a marine species found in the northern West Atlantic Ocean, moving into estuaries before swimming upstream to breed in freshwater habitats, but some populations live entirely in fresh water. It is best known for its invasion of the Great Lakes by using the Welland Canal to bypass Niagara Falls. Here, its population surged, peaking between the 1950s and 1980s to the detriment of many native species of fish. In an effort to control them biologically, Pacific salmon were introduced, only partially successfully. As a marine fish, the alewife is a US National Marine Fisheries Service "Species of Concern".
The American herring gull or Smithsonian gull is a large gull that breeds in North America, where it is treated by the American Ornithologists' Union as a subspecies of herring gull.
The Kings River is a 132.9-mile (213.9 km) river draining the Sierra Nevada mountain range in central California in the United States. Its headwaters originate along the Sierra Crest in and around Kings Canyon National Park and form the eponymous Kings Canyon, one of the deepest river gorges in North America. The river is impounded in Pine Flat Lake before flowing into the San Joaquin Valley southeast of Fresno. With its upper and middle course in Fresno County, the Kings River diverges into multiple branches in Kings County, with some water flowing south to the old Tulare Lake bed and the rest flowing north to the San Joaquin River. However, most of the water is consumed for irrigation well upstream of either point.
The Mystic River is a 7.0-mile-long (11.3 km) river in Massachusetts, in the United States. Its name derives from the Wampanoag word muhs-uhtuq, which translates to "big river." In an Algonquian language, missi-tuk means "a great river whose waters are driven by waves," alluding to the original tidal nature of the Mystic. The resemblance to the English word mystic is a coincidence.
Teddington Lock is a complex of three locks and a weir on the River Thames in England between Ham and Teddington in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It was first built in 1810.
A fishing weir, fish weir, fishgarth or kiddle is an obstruction placed in tidal waters, or wholly or partially across a river, to direct the passage of, or trap fish. A weir may be used to trap marine fish in the intertidal zone as the tide recedes, fish such as salmon as they attempt to swim upstream to breed in a river, or eels as they migrate downstream. Alternatively, fish weirs can be used to channel fish to a particular location, such as to a fish ladder. Weirs were traditionally built from wood or stones. The use of fishing weirs as fish traps probably dates back prior to the emergence of modern humans, and have since been used by many societies across the world.
The Lamprey River is a 50.2-mile-long (80.8 km) river in southeastern New Hampshire, the United States. It rises in Meadow Lake in Northwood, and flows south, then generally east through Raymond, Epping, Lee, Durham and finally Newmarket. Here, it meets Great Bay, a tidal inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, to which it is connected by a tidal estuary, the Piscataqua River. The river from the Bunker Pond Dam in Epping to the confluence with the Piscassic River is part of the designated National Wild and Scenic River System.
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Saylorville Lake is a reservoir on the Des Moines River in Iowa, United States. It is located 11 miles (18 km) upstream from the city of Des Moines, and 214 miles (344 km) from the mouth of the Des Moines River at the Mississippi River. It was constructed as part of a flood control system for the Des Moines River as well as to aid in controlling flood crests on the Mississippi, of which the Des Moines is a tributary. The lake and dam is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District.
The Charles River Reservation is a 17-mile-long (27 km) urban preserve and public recreation area located along the banks of the Charles River in Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, and Newton, Massachusetts. The reservation is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The Malden River is a 2.3-mile-long (3.7 km) river in Malden, Medford, and Everett, Massachusetts. It is roughly 675 feet (206 m) wide at its widest point and is very narrow at its smallest point. Its banks are largely occupied by industrial business, and the river is scarcely used or even mentioned. Its water quality is worse than most local waters, including the Mystic River, into which it flows.
The Weymouth Back River, sometimes called Back River, is a short, primarily tidal river in Hingham and Weymouth, Massachusetts, about 10 miles (16 km) south of Boston. It arises from a number of tributaries in ponds and swamps, most notably Whitmans Pond, flows northward, and empties into Hingham Bay.
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Red Bluff Diversion Dam is a disused irrigation diversion dam on the Sacramento River in Tehama County, California, United States, southeast of the city of Red Bluff. Until 2013, the dam provided irrigation water for two canals that serve 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) of farmland on the west side of the Sacramento Valley. The dam and canals are part of the Sacramento Canals Unit of the Central Valley Project, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. In 2013, the dam was decommissioned and the river allowed to flow freely through the site in order to protect migrating fish. A pumping plant constructed a short distance upstream now supplies water to the canal system.
A fish weir was authorized by the General Court in 1632 at the falls two miles north of Roger Clapp's 1630 landing site, the upper reach of the Charles River tidal basin.