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Cummings Dam Blowout

San Marcos River Dam Damaged by Flood

Tom Goynes
Texas River Protection Association

A flood in November of 2001 removed what was left of the timbers that ordinarily filled the slot in the center of Cummings Dam. The structure, located approximately six miles downstream of San Marcos, was once used to generate electricity. Now obsolete and in bad repair, the dam poses a danger to river recreationists and it limits the range of habitat of the endangered wild rice and fountain darters that live in the river. Wild rice and fountain darters prefer rivers with current - not impoundments of warm, stagnant water.

There is no question that the removal of the dam would improve habitat for federally endangered species, so the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has taken an active role toward the possible removal of the dam. After several years of unsuccessful efforts to remove Spring Lake Dam on the upper San Marcos, TRPA will be watching this issue closely and keep you informed. In the meantime, boaters should exercise extreme caution when running this section of river. Be sure to get out to portage a safe distance above the dam on the right side.

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