What started back in 1997 has reached Falls Lake. Bruce Babbit, then Secretary of the Department of Interior, came to NC looking for a dam removal opportunity to commence a program that would stretch across the nation. Though only 7 feet tall, Quaker Neck Dam on the Neuse near Goldsboro was identified as the showcase Dam that would inaugurate this program and it was removed to much fanfare.
Was it a success? According to US Fish and Wildlife Service research, Yes! They found that, after removal of Quaker Neck Dam, eggs and larvae of both shad and striped bass moved upstream from Goldsboro all the way upstream to Milburnie Dam near Raleigh (https://www.fws.gov/raleigh/coastal/NeuseAnadromousHandout.pdf).
Fast forward to this week. After a long approval process, Milburnie Dam began being removed. Having seen the blockage this dam creates for spawning fish, I believe this is a good thing for the Neuse River. Fifteen miles of the river’s mainstem are now open to migrating fish and recreational uses of the river will be enhanced.