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Hughesville Dam Removal Slated To Start June 16


June 10, 2016
Updated September 17, 2016

As of early September, the Hughsville Dam has been removed and river restoration is under way.

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is informing anglers, kayakers and other users of the Musconetcong River that the removal of the Hughesville Dam is slated to begin on June 16, 2016. The removal is another of a series of dam removals on the Musconetcong which have been completed in an effort to restore the river to a free flowing waterway.

Many dams built over the past 200 years or more to service industries no longer in operation are being targeted for removal by the Musconetcong River Restoration Partnership. Dams impede fish movement and block the upstream migration of fishes like American Shad, Alewife, Blueback Herring, and Striped Bass from the Delaware River. The water impounded by dams and the accumulated sediment behind dams also negatively affect water quality and fish habitat.

Although dams and the pools formed behind them are aesthetically pleasing to some, who may frown upon their removal, they are expensive to repair and maintain, and are a liability for their owners. The Partnership works with willing dam owners to secure funding from conservation-minded organizations and government programs to remove antiquated dams and restore river health. Since 2010, the Partnership has been instrumental in removing four other dams on the Musconetcong River's mainstem (Finesville Dam, Riegelsville Dam, and two dams near Hackettstown).

The Hughesville Dam is located just downstream of the Route 519 bridge in Warren Glen, in Holland Township (Hunterdon County) and Pohatcong Township (Warren County). First the accumulated sediment behind the dam will be suction-dredged and discharged into nearby settling lagoons. This allows the suspended sediment to settle out before the water is released back into the river, minimizing river turbidity. In mid-July the dam will be breached, a little at a time, and the dam materials removed. The stream channel above and below the dam site will then be restored to a natural condition (pools and riffles established) and the river banks stabilized with rocks and re-vegetated. To complete the restoration, trees and shrubs will be planted in the riparian zone.

More details and updates on the Hughesville Dam removal (and information on other dam removal projects on the Musconetcong River) are available on the Musconetcong Watershed Association's website at

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Department of Environmental Protection
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Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 17, 2016