Controversial San Clemente Dam to Go

It was reported in January that government officials and the California American Water Company (Cal Am) had reached an agreement regarding the future of the San Clemente Dam on the Carmel River. After 10 years of study and debate, the parties decided to remove the now obsolete 106-foot tall structure.

The Carmel River is considered to be one of the top steelhead runs in the region; however, the dam has been preventing fish from reaching their spawning grounds, and over the years the runs have been declining. The dam was constructed in 1921 to create a reservoir for drinking water but has been inoperable for years and was deemed unsafe in 1991 by state dam inspectors. For years Cal Am considered repairing it, a less expensive option then removal, but because of community opposition and the unlikelihood of obtaining a permit for the repairs, finally agreed to removal of the structure. Removal of the dam will open up 25 miles of river.

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