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

Restore the habitats of federal trust species on private lands, including tribal, county and municipal lands

Restore wetlands, riparian, in-stream and native upland habitats

Remove barriers to fish passage

Leverage funds and resources through efficient state, federal and private partnerships

Pigg River Restoration at Power Dam Connect with Us

Power Dam is located on the Pigg River outside the Town of Rocky Mount, Franklin County, Virginia. Breached in 2016, the project provides unimpeded movement upstream and downstream and restores instream habitat in this reach of the Pigg River for the federally listed endangered Roanoke logperch, native recreational fish, and state listed aquatic species through creating a notch in Power Dam.

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

The project restored 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 is being improved by increased complexity of instream habitat, vegetation, and competency to transport sediment. The remaining 45-mile river segment downstream to Leesville Reservoir is also being improved 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.


Power Dam location map (PDF - 711KB)


Photos and Video

Power Dam photos

Time lapse video of the Pigg River Dam breaching

Resources and Reports


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Last updated: December 17, 2019