Along with the documented and clear historical significance, there are also several environmental factors that will be affected by the removal of the dam. Over the last 150 years, nature has taken hold of this area and flourished, harboring some of our endangered species – including the endangered Fountain Darter and Texas Wild Rice. The Capes Dam Weir creates areas of slow and fast moving water which provide ideal habitats and environmental conditions for the species to reproduce and thrive. City Council’s decision to remove and not repair Cape’s Dam Weir is based on one scientific opinion. Dr. Hardy’s study fails to address significant variables and only accounts for less than half of the measured discharges on the San Marcos River. In Dr. Hardy’s October 2015 report only flows of 45cfs, 100cfs, and 173cfs are included in his analysis of the endangered species habitat representing only below average flows and ignoring anything above median discharge. Median discharge on the San Marcos River has averaged 174cfs over the past 21 years and have averaged 277cfs over the past year. This means in Dr. Hardy’s study only accounted for samples from half the 21 year average discharge and did not take into consideration any of the conditions experienced by this section of river over the past year. Dr. Hardy’s report also takes into consideration only three variables: flow, depth, and substrate. Rivers are far more dynamic than basing an entire study on only three variables. Dr. Hardy has also published two reports on the dam removal 4 months apart with large variations in improved habitat for Fountain Darters. The June 2015 report was updated in October 2015 with a 1000% increase in habitat for Darters over the previous report, going from .5% improvement in suitable habitat to 5% improvement. Further scientific verification, additional opinions, and more thorough research should be considered prior to an irreversible decision to remove Cape’s Dam.
Over 150 years ago, original San Marcos settlers built Cape’s Weir and the adjoining mill race. Over this time nature has taken hold of this area and flourished, harboring some of the world’s most endangered species. The mill race is the left Chanel of the river starting at Capes Dam. People have downplayed it as a ditch. Its 1/4 mile wide and 30 feet wide and avg of 4 feet deep. Equivalent of 250,000 cubic feet ow water for flourishing habitat and green space.
Mill Race is considered one of the best places to fish bc of its low velocity of water and deep areas that fish and turtles love. Letting this part of the river go dry will also kill many of the trees that makes this green space so special and we should preserve.
It is very important to note that the Mill Race was not a factor in the study done by Dr. Hardy.
Please register to get updates and to let us know you support the cause! Fill out this form below. We never spam.