Dangers Of Low-Head Dams!!!

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by catfishrollo, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    I posted this in the Ohio Forum, but thought it was important enough to place on the main board......
    It's a sad situation every year, people lose their lives due to neglect and a lack of education on the dangers of low-head dams. Low-head dams have gained the nickname over the years of being a "drowning machine" for a reason. There design and structure causes a "hydro effect", that often keeps anything and sometimes everything that comes within close area pulled up against it. I think the biggest problem with low-head dams is the lack of respect for what they can do, or how they look. I myself, had an encounter one time when my anchor pulled loose and the boat wouldn't start. The boat got caught in the back current, and was heading back towards the dam. Let me tell you, you gain respect quickly when you have no control of where you are heading! Anyways, these back currents that are created by the water coming over the dam may look harmless, but they have a drastic rolling effect that will most of the time suck anyone under and not allow you to swim free from your own! There are many different sizes of these dams, and they all have different visual effects. However, they for the most part all have some similaries, and all are extremely dangerous! So, please don't get too comfortable with these areas , and please do respect them if you fish around them! There ain't no fish worth your life, and no sense in chancing safety for no apparent reason! Goodluck and stay safe!!! Here is a little news video attached that I found that may set the importance of respect for them and goes well with this post....rollo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPaCX...eature=related
     
  2. daystarchis

    daystarchis New Member

    Messages:
    11,521
    State:
    Clovis Cali
    Thanks brother for the heads up.
     

  3. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    Messages:
    3,603
    State:
    PA
    Great post Rollo! I was a whitewater raft guide in Tennessee for about 10 years. I took a river rescue course one time and they showed us a video of a 22 Boston Whaler get sucked into the hydraulic at the base of a low dam. It flipped the boat end over end and the two guys in the boat went into the hole and could not get out. Well, another big center console rescue boat tried to get close enough to get a rope to them and they also got sucked in. Their boat flipped and now there were four men and two boats stuck in the hydraulic. All four men were drowned. Low dams are nothing to mess with!
     
  4. Kansas Tree Rat

    Kansas Tree Rat New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Waverly, Kansas
    Really good post Jason. It may save someone's life. I grew up on the Neosho river in Chanute Kansas. There are 3 of these dams in the area. There have been 9 people drown at the middle dam over the years. There is some great fishing below them and they are not dangerous when the water is down but they are monsters if the water comes up even a couple of feet. Thanks for putting this info out for anyone that has never been around them.
     
  5. plainsman

    plainsman New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,187
    State:
    minnesota
    Thanks for this reminder, one thing I never realized is that one can get sucked in from downstream. I knew I wouldn't want to get close when I was downstream but didn't realize they could pull from a distance. So thanks again for this safety info.
     
  6. Fishmaster1203

    Fishmaster1203 New Member

    Messages:
    3,603
    State:
    PA
    Anybody that fishes rivers with swift water, shoals or low dams from a boat should always carry a throw rope in their boat. It could save your life. You can get one from anywhere that sells canoes or kayaks.
     
  7. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    Very smart idea Paul, Thanks for the post . That could be an ideal bag to carry ice-fishing as well with a life vest attached to one end of the rope....rollo
     
  8. catfish kenny

    catfish kenny New Member

    Messages:
    6,064
    State:
    Iowa
    Rollo this is a prime example of why I dont tread up in our spillways here .....you got one shot andi f you blow it yer done-I want to fish tommorow too maybe I will catch a bigger one.:wink:
    Good post bro ...VERY GOOD POST!
     
  9. westvirginiacatfish

    westvirginiacatfish New Member

    Messages:
    511
    State:
    Ronceverte
    thanks for the info rollo. lets all stay safe out there
     
  10. fcrnnngbck25

    fcrnnngbck25 New Member

    Messages:
    205
    State:
    Lafayette, Indi
    I use to fish at an low head dam and one of my friends was swimming around by it after a day of fishing. He nearly drown so I've been careful ever since
     
  11. catoon

    catoon Board Clown!

    Messages:
    1,387
    State:
    whiteville
    thks for the warning
     
  12. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    When fishing from a boat it's more dangerous below those dams. I can imagine what kind of current and undertow below those rapids. Your boat flips over and you are SCREWED! From the bank, not too dangerous unless the bank is steep and you can't swim.

    Just be careful and take ever precaution you can imagine.

    Better be safe than sorry and you can't catch the bigguns if you're dead:embarassed:
     
  13. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    In 1995 I unfortunately watched a policeman drown at one of these damns in Beloit, KS. We are the ones that seen them stuck in the undertow and called the police. They aint no joke.

    "Officer Trail drowned while attempting to rescue a group of teenagers from a river. The group of teenagers had been drinking and decided to go tubing. The river was extremely rough and the group got stuck in some rapids after going over a damn. Officer Trail and a local firefighter attempted a rescue but both fell in. The firefighter survived the incident. Officer Trial's body was not found for several days. No charges were filed against the group of drunk teenagers."