PCC was awarded funds for removal of fish passage barriers located within the Greater Uwharrie Conservation Partnership Focus Area, Densons Creek and Little River watersheds in Randolph and Montgomery County. Through this funding/partnership, PCC removed the Smithermans Dam along the Little River and Lassiter Mill Dam along the Uwharrie River. In 2018, PCC removed a third and final third barrier: a vented ford bridge crossing Densons Creek in Troy. Removal of the bridge benefited State endangered freshwater mussels that occur at or near this site, and the Carolina redhorse, a state species of concern.
The implementation was completed in two phases. Phase I- April 2018, USFWS Southeast Aquatic Habitat Restoration Team-Fisheries Program, removed the old crossing/bridge. Phase 2- May 2018, North State Environmental, installed native boulder structures utilizing natural channel design and worked to install a modern ford boulder crossing. Through the natural channel design, the structures created step pools to reduce the flow velocity, allowing for ideal slope steps critical for fish passage. Gaps were left between the boulders to allow aquatic movement. Re-establishing the 3-mile upstream connection, re-opened historic aquatic habitat allowing mussel populations to return. Check out this article.