Dam removal, connectivity, and aquatic resources in the St. Regis River Watershed, New York

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5116
Prepared in cooperation with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe-Environment Division
By: , and 



The decommissioning and planned removal of the Hogansburg Dam on the St. Regis River in New York has stimulated interest in the potential effects of that barrier removal on the St. Regis watershed. There will be immediate and systemic effects of the Hogansburg Dam removal, which may include inundation of habitats below the dam or dewatering of habitats above the dam, possibly affecting local fish assemblages and (or) local native mussel assemblages; and expansion of stream network connectivity, which has the potential to open a large area of the watershed to migratory aquatic species. Information was collected about biota, water quality, sediment distribution, riverbed dimensions in the vicinity of the dam, and habitat characteristics of headwater sample sites. Complete fish assemblages were collected, but species of special concern associated with the connectivity changes included, American Eel, Atlantic Salmon, Brook Trout, Eastern Sand Darter, and Lake Sturgeon. Freshwater mussels in the vicinity of the dam also were examined and may be at risk of exposure (without a rescue plan) after dam removal. Reservoir sediment will be transported downstream and will alter aquatic habitat as it moves through the system. The dam removal will open more than 440 kilometers of stream habitat to migratory species, allowing them to more easily complete their life cycles. Fish assemblages above the dam may be altered by migrating fishes, but resident Brook Trout are not expected to be adversely affected.

Suggested Citation

McKenna, J.E., Jr., Hanak, Kaitlin, DeVilbiss, Katharine, David, Anthony, and Johnson, J.H., 2015, Dam removal, connectivity, and aquatic resources in the St. Regis River watershed, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5116, 15 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155116.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Contents
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Fish Species Code Definitions
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Dam removal, connectivity, and aquatic resources in the St. Regis River Watershed, New York
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5116
DOI 10.3133/sir20155116
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Great Lakes Science Center
Description vii, 15 p.
Country United States
State New York
Other Geospatial St. Regis River
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details