Fox River Citizen Group

Final Drawdown for Racine County Drainage District

The Racine County Drainage District has been permitted to draw down the Fox River at the Rochester Dam for the winter season of 2017-18. The permit allows for the drawdown to begin October 1, but due to warmer weather, it has been delayed to November 1, unless water temperatures drop to below 55 degrees. The temperature timeline is established to allow herps (turtles, frogs) to prepare for hibernation. the water levels will be restored beginning February 15, 2018.

The Fox River Citizen's Group and the Village worked diligently to ensure that the river was protected for fishing, recreation, and enjoyment, fighting to end the repeated over winter drawdowns of the Rochester Dam and the devastation to the impoundment between the dams. Many meetings with the DNR, letters to legislators, visits to Madison, and the support of DNR fish and wildlife biologists and water resource managers who noted the negative impact the yearly drawdowns had on wildlife, fishery, and recreational access, health of the river and shoreline erosion, led the DNR to deny the Drainage District's use of repeated drawdowns when dredging their canals. 

The Village has never been in conflict about or denied the District's need, in fact, responsibility to maintain the drainage canals. The Citizen's Group and Village disputed the need to drawdown the Fox River and sought to protect it. The DNR agreed to a single final year for the District to drawdown and complete their dredging project. Should it fail to complete it, the District must enlist alternative dredging methods that will not impact the river. 

While the Village must endure another winter drawdown, the Fox River Citizen's Group and the Village of Waterford are pleased to remind everyone that through their combined efforts and the support of residents, this will be the final drawdown of the river at the Rochester Dam. 

Fox River November 2015 Drawdown

Fox River  Drawdown November 2015

Thank you to all who wrote to legislators to share your concerns about the Fox River drawdowns!

 The Village received notice from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that the permit request by the Racine County Drainage District to drawdown the river this winter has been denied. The denial supports many of the contentions of the Fox River Citizens Group and the Village.
DNR Drawdown Permit Denied

Fox River Drawdowns