Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
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Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Goals

Restore historic habitat conditions, targeting wetlands and streams

Recovery of habitat for threatened and endangered species

Consideration of landscape setting to maximize benefits

Creation of large blocks of habitat to link refugia and offset development pressure, especially in coastal areas

Work with landowners for "win-win" partnerships that foster pride in good stewardship of the land

Pigg River Restoration at Power Dam Connect with Us

Constructed in 1915 for power generation, the defunct Power Dam measures 25 feet high by 204 feet long and impounds 60 acre-feet of water over 25 acres. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the owner, Friends of the Rivers of Virginia; Franklin County; Town of Rocky Mount; Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; American Electric Power; and others to remove portions of the dam. The culmination of 12 years of planning by conservation partners, this project will remove the last impediment to fish passage within a 72 mile reach of the Pigg River from the headwaters downstream to Leesville Reservoir.

The project will restore 2.2 miles of aquatic instream habitat impounded upstream of Power Dam for the federally and state listed Roanoke logperch and smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu). Another mile upstream of the impoundment for a total of 3.2 miles above Power Dam and 5 miles downstream of the dam will be improved by increased complexity of instream habitat, vegetation, and competency to transport sediment. The remaining 45 mile river segment downstream to Leesville Reservoir will also improve with regards to channel habitat, stability, and complexity thorough restored continuity to the headwaters.

Other benefits of the project include the restoration of flood attenuation, public infrastructure protection for the Rocky Mount Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Route 713 Bridge, removal of a public safety and boating hazard, and establishment of a public access area and county park for recreational fishing and boating.

Public Notice for DEQ Water Protection Permit

Power Dam location map (PDF - 711KB)

Pigg River Restoration at Power Dam Fact Sheet (PDF-1.32MB)

Pigg River Restoration at Power Dam Frequently Asked Questions (PDF - 24KB)

Photos and Video

Power Dam photos

Time lapse video of the Pig River Dam breaching

Resources and Reports


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Last updated: December 22, 2016