navigation bar
  New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife
njdep home f&w home
Facebook Logo Instagram logo

Public Hearing November 20 for Proposed Columbia Lake Dam Removal Project


November 14, 2017

A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to provide members of the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed project to remove the Columbia Lake dam. The hearing will be at the North Warren Regional High School auditorium (Blairstown). The dam is located 1/4 mile upstream of the Paulins Kill River's confluence with the Delaware River in Knowlton Township, Warren County.

The Columbia Lake dam impounds a 43-acre lake that stretches more than 1.5 miles upstream of the dam. The dam and the lake (sold to the state by NJ Power & Light Co. in 1955) is owned and managed by the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife as part of the 1,098 acre Columbia Wildlife Management Area.

Since the construction of the dam in 1909 by Warren County Power Co., the 18-foot high, 330-foot long dam has served as a barrier to fish passage, severing New Jersey's third largest tributary to the Delaware River from its watershed. This obstruction blocks American Shad access to their historic spawning grounds, and impedes the movement of American Eel. The proposed removal of the dam will restore fish passage to over 10 miles of river, restore natural flow regime, and reclaim 1.5 miles of stream habitat. The dam removal project is just one aspect of a larger initiative led by The Nature Conservancy with the goals of improving riparian and in-stream habitat throughout the Paulins Kill watershed.

The public hearing scheduled on November 20 is the third and final public meeting concerning the project. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the hearing and comment on the proposed project. Two previous public meetings were held on April 4 and April 25, 2016 in Knowlton Township concerning the project. If approved the dam is anticipated to be removed in the summer of 2018.

For more information on the project, including project goals, partners, funding, and timeline, as well as FAQs, view the document at (pdf, 360kb)

  Adobe Acrobat Some files on this site require adobe acrobat pdf reader to view. download the free pdf reader  
bottom footer contact dep privacy notice legal statement accessibility statement nj home nj home citizen business government services a to z departments dep home

division of fish & wildlife: home | links | contact f&w
department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2017
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 14, 2017