January 20, 2013

cascading water at Nicasio Reservoir Spillway

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Seeger Dam was built on the Nicasio Creek in 1961. This dam is 115' tall, 400' long and made of rock and earth. It adds storage capacity to the water district's (MMWD) system and is tapped during years of drought. California experienced very dry conditions between 1975 and 1977, and by the end of 1977 Nicasio Reservoir was dry as a bone.

During planning and construction the MMWD didn't win any popularity contests when it forced major displacement of many farms including McIsaac Farm and Tomasini Ranch.
The construction in the dam aroused vitriol among longtime residents. Controversy stemmed from 3 main reasons:
1 - Water from the reservoir is rarely used by the MMWD.
2 - The broad shallow nature of the reservoir leads to a quick evaporation rate.
3 - The dam has blocked valuable spawning areas for endangered species of salmon and steelhead.
Sadly, building this dam on Nicasio Creek wiped out the spawning salmon population in this area. There was an abbreviated attempt by the district to trap the salmon below the dam and transport them by truck further up Nicasio Creek and also Halleck Creek which was ultimately unsuccessful.


^^^Sorry for the rough sound in places, and I'm not sure if I have all my video settings dialed-in yet, but my Canon-5D-Mark 2 DSLR with the 70-200 f2.8 "L" I.S. zoom is supposed to do a great job shooting video. So, once I get this all sorted out, get ready brace yourselves for more videos...

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

^^^And I thought I would toss in an OLD photo --
An example of the beautiful lake Seeger Dam forms.
This was snapped early in the day on May 23, 2011.

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