St. Charles Dam
Fox River Ecosystem Partnership's Statement Regarding Dams
It is said that there are enough dams in the U.S. for one to have been built every day since the nation began in 1776.  Dams generally were built to store and provide water for mechanical power generation, industrial cooling, hydroelectric power generation, agricultural irrigation, human consumption, and impoundment-based recreation.  They also have been used for flood control and maintaining channel depths for barge transportation. 

Although beneficial for various uses, dams also have negative impacts that may include increased risk of drowning; degraded aquatic habitat, water quality, and fish communities; blocked fish spawning migrations; and impaired flowing-water recreation (canoeing and kayaking). In many places around the country, dams are being removed or modified rather than repaired or reconstructed in an effort to restore naturally flowing river systems.

The Fox River Ecosystem Partnership (FREP) has identified in its Integrated Management Plan for the Fox River In Illinois (1999) dam removal or modification as an important watershed-based approach to enhance and restore aquatic habitat and fisheries in the Fox River basin. Current, ongoing studies evaluating the effects of dams on various ecological parameters in the Fox River, including water quality, and fish and invertebrate populations, and fisheries habitat suggest that dams are having substantial negative impacts on the ecology of the watershed.

Fox River Ecosystem Partnership is fully aware that many factors need to be considered when addressing any dam removal or modification alternatives.  However, from a strict ecological standpoint, we believe that dam removal is the soundest alternative.
Special Report: Safety at Run-of-River Dams Executive Summary July 2007
State of the Fox River: Summary of Fish Sampling Efforts by Illinois Department of Natural Resources 1995-2009  
Steve Pesctelli, Region II Streams Specialist  
Since 1995, Illinois DNR has conducted 160 fish community samples at over 120 sites in the Fox River Watershed, as well as many targeted studies for sportfish species.  Evaluation of fish assemblages allows us to gauge the general health of the Fox River and its tributaries using the Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI), and to track trends in stream quality throughout the system.  
Detailed description of the program   
PDFs of Presentation:  Part 1    Part 2    Part 3
Article about the Fox River Fish Passage Feasibility Study and the effect of dams
By Victor J. Santucci, Research Biologist, author of the report (2002)
FAQs about Dams and Removal on the Fox River
Where are the dams on the Fox River?
1. McHenry  
2. Algonquin  
3. Carpentersville  
4. Elgin  
5. South Elgin  
6. St. Charles  
7. Geneva  
8. Batavia - North  
9. Batavia - South  (removed)  
10. North Aurora  
11. Aurora Stolp Island 
12. Aurora - North Ave. (removed)
13. Montgomery
14. Yorkville  
15. Dayton
For detailed information about the dams on the Fox River, link to:  Chicago Area Paddling/Fishing Guide Website