The company that owns the Morrow Dam along the Kalamazoo River near Comstock just to the west of Battle Creek is again lowering the water level downriver of the dam. Eagle Creek Renewable Energy says the water level will be taken down to about a third of the normal flow today. Tomorrow the flow should be back up to about 2/3rds of the normal level. If ongoing dam repairs are completed as projected, the river level should be returning to normal sometime Wednesday.

This project has turned out to be a headache for all concerned. Initially, Eagle Creek figured it would be doing some repairs to the dam. But as engineers began closely examining the dam gates that control the flow of water past the dam, they realized it wasn’t a repair job. It turned into a replacement project.

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And then last year when the first river level change was initiated to get access to the lower levels of the dam, tons upon tons of sediment from upriver of the dam, mainly built up in the Morrow Pond backwater to the east of the dam flowed through and began settling along the river bottom and its banks for miles. Fishing enthusiasts were up in arms. Environmentalists even more so.

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A Facebook group sprang up to document the damages and work for Eagle Creek to be held responsible for the cleanup and repairs. MLive reports the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners is sending a communication to Eagle River asking for it to accept full responsibility for the damages to the river.

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The state has also cited Eagle Creek for the damages but so far no fines have been issued. In the meantime, expect to see very low water levels again on the Kalamazoo River west of the dam for at least the next 48 hours.

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